Insect Trivia – Ants

  1. There are currently about 8,800 varieties of ants in the world.
  2. The largest ant is found in Africa (1 ½ in. long) the smallest is found in Sri Lanka ( 1/30 in. long).
  3. In agricultural or wooded areas, the imported fire ant mound may be 2 feet in  diameter and 1 ½ feet high.  There can be as many as 500 of these mounds per acre with each containing 200,000 ants.
  4. The nests of Harvester Ants can be as much as 15 feet deep.  When a Harvester Ant locks its mandibles onto its victim, one must literally tear the body from the head and then remove the head and mandibles.  This ant is noted for its ability and willingness to search for pursue and attack any intruder.
  5. Pharoe ants are are so small that an entire colony can live within a light switch socket on the wall.
  6. If a 175 pound person were as strong as an ant he could lift almost 9000 pounds.
  7. The African Weaver Ant can haul prey weighing more than 1000 times its own weight back to its nest.
  8. Some ants raid other ant colonies, steal their eggs, raise them to adulthood, and make them their slaves.
  9. When disturbed ants spray formic acid out of their abdomen as a defense.  More than 150 species of birds have been observed picking up ants and placing them in their feathers.  The ants spray the formic acid and kill the mites on the bird.

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