UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES OF VARIOUS ANT SPECIES
This ant has the most painful sting of any animal ranking a 4.0+ on the Schmidt pain index. It’s sting has been described as walking across a bed of white hot coals with a 3-inch nail stuck in your heel.
These ant form huge colonies that can contain up to 20 million ants. When food is low, Army Ants will form huge marching columns that are composed of about 50,000 ants. These columns will eat anything in their path including small farm animals such as chickens.
The Malaysian Exploding Ant has two very
large poison filled glands that run the entire length of their body. When under attack as a last resort, the ant will violently contract its abdominal muscles to rupture its gaster (the butt of the ant) and release its corrosive poison in all directions.
The Amazon Ant is a very special ant as there are no amazonian worker ants. Sadly workers are necessary for a colony to survive so the amazonian ant simply takes the workers from
other colonies and enslaves them. They do this by going to war with another colony. Through a series of deceptive actions, they manage to get the amazonian ant queen to replace the other colony’s queen and order them to give away their larval workers.
One of the more common ants on my list, Fire Ants are known for their painful bite that has a distinct burning sensation,hence their name. What is unique about the Fire Ant is pictured above. During a flood, the ants will huddle
together and create a living raft made out of their own bodies. Some ants will drown, but it is all for the good of the colony.
My personal favorite ant, is the leafcutter ant. Leafcutter ants do not actually eat the leaves they cut, instead they feed them to a fungus that lives inside their colony. The ants then feed off of the fungus as their food source. Even more interesting is the fungus has a parasite that commonly infects it, but the ants have co-evolved with this fungus for so long that some of the ants have antibiotic patches
on their chests that they press against infected portions of the fungus to kill the parasite.
The Trapjaw Ant has the fastest jaws in the animal kingdom moving at approximately 78-140 mph and can expand its jaws to a 180-degree angle as seen above. The ant’s jaws are triggered by its prey touching fine hairs on its mandibles twice. So basically these ant’s jaws have the exact same closing mechanism as a venus fly trap. In addition to using their jaws
to catch prey, they can also use them to retreat from predators. In order to do this, the ant simply cocks its jaws and fires them at the ground in front of it. This propels the ant backwards and upwards hopefully away from danger.
Last but not least is the Honeypot Ant which is explained pretty well just by looking at it. Many members of the honeypot colony are essentially storage facilities that are filled with necessities by the workers. The other ants will then come by and extract nourishment from them as if they were living pantries. Some honeypot ants will be filled with food, but others are filled with liquids and even fat