- Ants can range in size from 1 millimeter to 40 millimeters (4 cm)
- The largest ant in the world is the Queen ant of the African Driver (Army) Ant: genus Dorylus. It measures 4 centimeters long or 1 1/2 inches.
- The title of the largest non-queen ant is claimed by 3 different species. The "Dinosaur Ants" in the genus Dinoponera from South America, the "Camponotus gigas" of Southeast Asia, and the "Bullet Ant" of South America (Paraponera clavata). Each measuring around 3 centimeters.
People who have been bitten by a Bullet Ant say it is like being shot by a bullet (hence the name). Participants also described the pain like walking over fiery charcoal with a 3 inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.
The world's most painful sting belongs to the Bullet Ant of South America. It measures a 4+ on the Schmidt sting pain index.
The world's smallest ant belongs to the genus Carebara (numerous species). Measuring less than 1 millimeter. It's so small it is hard to see with the naked eye.
Supercolonies, are not literally the same colony as the name suggests, but are made up of entirely separate nests.
Ants can carry 50 times their own body weight with their mandibles.
The ant pictured right can at least hold 100 times it's body weight.
Ants can run up to 3 inches per second.
Ants can travel up to 2 miles in a day.
Scientists estimate that the total biomass of all the ants on Earth is roughly equal to the total biomass of all the people on Earth.
Ants inhabit every continent on the planet except Antartica (shocking!).
Scientists estimate that there are over 1 quadrillion ants in the world, and as many as 10 quadrillion. That's 10,000,000,000,000,000.
Ants can both bite and sting.
Some species of ants (like the argentine ant) can form "super colonies". A super colony is a group of nests where the ants work together and behave as one colony.
The largest supercolony covers over 3,700 miles, and has over 1 billion ants and 1 million queens.
Argentine ants form the largest groups of ants on the planet.
The Temnothorax species of ant, also called the Acorn Ant makes it's nest inside of little acorns.
Ants have 6 legs and their bodies are divided into three segments consisting of the head, thorax, and abdomen.
There are over 12,000 known species of ants and an estimated 10,000 more waiting to be classified.
Most ant species do not live very long and have a lifespan of only 45-60 days. However some species can live for a few years.
Queen ants can live up to 30 years.
Ants have compound eyes - each eye is made of many smaller eyes.
Ants have a great sense of smell, but it is done through their antennae.
Breeding male ants are called drones.
Ants help aerate the soil for plants.
Ants help aid in the decomposition of matter.
Ants move more soil than Earthworms.
A single colony of ants can move up to 20 pounds of material per day.
Ants help many species of plants by transporting their seeds to new locations for new growth.
Ants can also act as pollinators for some species of flowers and other plants.
One leaf cutter colony moved over 40 tons of soil during the construction of it's 500 square foot nest.
Ants communicate through a chemical called pheromones.
All worker ants are sterile and their purpose is to forage for food.
The queens sole purpose is to lay eggs. The queen does not command the workers. Each worker simply knows what it's task is and does it without the need for instruction.
There are two verses in the Bible about the ant. Proverbs 6: 6-8 and Proverbs 30: 24-25
If a man could run as fast as an ant, he would be able to run 34 miles per hour.
If a man could lift as much as an ant, he would be able to bench press a small truck.
With 250,000 brain cells, the ant is believed to be the smartest insect.
An ant brain has 250,000 brain cells, and a human brain has 10 billion brain cells so a colony of 40,000 ants has collectively the same size brain as a human.
Ants use advanced warfare tactics. Ants in the Amazon rain forrest have been observed surrounding an enemy nest and simply sitting and waiting for two days before attacking. The opposing ant colony could not forage during this time and were easily defeated because they were weak from not eating.
Army Ants in Africa can have as many as 20 million ants in one colony.
A certain species of ants herds aphids like cows. The ants feed off the sweet honey that aphids secrete.
The Slave-Maker species of ant raids the nest of other ants and steals their pupae. After the pupae hatch, they are made to work as slaves within the colony.
Ants do not have ears, and they do not hear through auditory canals, they hear by picking up vibrations through the ground via special sensors on their feet and on their knees.
Leaf cutter ants have ventilation systems built in to their colony. The difference in temperature between the waste pits and the fungis gardens create air flow.
Army ants are nomadic ants. They only live in the same spot for short times. Then they pack up the food, larvae, and the queen and move.
The leaf cutter ant colony featured in the Ant City is 26 feet deep. That's the human equavalent of digging a hole almost 2 miles deep!
Tribes in South America weave the Bullet Ant into specially designed gloves that a young man wears so that he is stung sever hundreds of times as a right of passage.
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