The Incredible Ant and
Why the World Needs Them!
We all know that there's a lot of ants, but what do they do for us?
Do Ants Bite or Sting?
All ants can bite, but can all ants sting? Find out.
See all the Different
Species of Ants!
Army Ants, Leaf-cutter Ants, Red Ants, Queen Ants, and many other types of ants and how to farm them!
How Fast Are Ants?
Probably a lot faster than you thought.
Watch our video of ants racing to find out.
How Much Can
an Ant Lift
You may have heard that an ant can lift 20 times it's own body weight, but it's actually much more than that.
The Amazing Ant City
Researchers excavated a 500 square foot leaf cutter ant colony.
Ant Farms & Ant Habitats
Ant farms make great educational toys for kids. We have over 30 varieties to choose from. Including Antworks & Uncle Milton.
Ants are part of the phylum Arthropod, and have six legs like all insects. If it doesn't have six legs it's not an insect. Spiders, which have eight legs are technically an arachnid. Each leg has three joints, and is made up of 5 sections (like bones). The Coxa, femur, tibia, tarsus, and pre-tarsus. As skinny as their legs are, you would not think that they would be strong, but as you may have heard an ant can lift up to 50 times their own body weight (See how here). As well as having unproportionately strong legs, they are also incredibly great for running. If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run faster than a racehorse (see how fast ants run). An ants brain also has about 250,000 brain cells. The human brain has about 10 billion brain cells, so a colony of 40,000 ants has collectively the same size brain as a human.
Ants are can range in size from 1 to 40 millimeters long, with the record of largest ant going to the queen ant of the African Driver Ant species (Army Ant) The title of largest non-queen ant is shared by 3 different species - see here! Ants also come in a wide array of colors. They can be brown, yellow, orange, black or red and can have wings or be wingless. They have narrow waists and elbowed antennae.
Ants have eyes similar to flies, called compound eyes which allow them to see a wide area at the same time, although it limits the amount of detail they can see. The ant has two stomachs. One stomach is for the food it will eat itself and the other stomach is for food that will be taken back to the nest for sharing or other uses. An ant is an invertebrate, which essentially means that they have their bones on the outside of their body, called an exoskeleton, and muscles are on the inside. Ants go through four stages of growth - the egg, larva, pupae, and adult. There are over 12,000 known species of ants, and an estimated 8,000 more yet to be discovered - 20,000 total.
Ant colonies usually consist of drones (fertile males), winged drones, workers, nurses, soldiers, a queen, and winged females (future queens). When a colony grows to a certain size, winged males and winged female ants fly up and mate in the air (called the nuptial flight) and then search for a new nesting site. Male ants do not live very long, and usually die shortly after mating. As soon as a suitable nesting site is found the queen begins laying her eggs. Most ant species nest in the ground but many will also nest inside trees, inside logs, in concrete, inside of acorns, or even in rocks.
There are some types of ants have no sting, instead they can spray you with formic acid. Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites. One type of Slave-Maker Ant (Polyergus Rufescens) will raid the nest of other ants and will steal the pupae from that colony and take them back to their own nest. When the stolen pupae hatches and grows up, they will work as slaves within the new colony.
Ants one of the most successful species on the planet and have colonized every landmass on Earth (Antartica doesn't really count does it?). It is estimated that the combined weight of all ants in the world exceeds the weight of mankind. Some estimates put the total number of ants on Earth at over 10 quadrillion! That's 10,000,000,000,000,000. Which means there are 1.5 million ants for every person on Earth.