Ants are interesting in many ways, but it is their behavior that most draws our attention. Not only are ants capable of living in a social structure, their social structure is complex, having division of labor and implementing innovative traits that allow them to better survive in an environment. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the behavior of these insects.
Ants can teach other ants
While the teacher-student relationship in ants is not as complex as it is in primates, ants can still “teach” each other and transmit various pieces of information using pheromones. When a forager goes out into the world, it leaves a trail of pheromones, which will let other ants know that a certain path has already been explored. When that forager finds a food source, it will leave a different pheromone trail indicating that there is food in a certain area, which then incentivizes other workers to go out there and get the food. It’s why you see ant columns travelling through and from food in your kitchen.
Ants are able to farm
We already know that ants live in complex enough social structures to have division of labor, but the structures can get so complex that they even have farmers. Ants will gather aphids, scale bugs and mealy bugs, and then tend to them in order to have access to a constant supply of honeydew.
Ants have the capacity to travel over water
Certain ant species have the ability to link up their bodies in order to create lifeboats that will float over water for extended periods of time. This allows colonies to survive floods and to travel over bodies of water. Not only that, but ants are also able to survive underwater long enough to surface if they sink to the bottom, because they do not have lungs.
Ants are very strong
Did you know that ants are the strongest pound-for-pound creature in the world? They are able to lift anywhere from 10 to 50 times their own body weight. Not only that, but they are also very hardy, being able to live with damaged body parts, or without food and water for several weeks.
These abilities give ants the ability to survive in a wide range of environments and against many threats, which means that you will need a concerted effort if you want to get rid of an ant colony. Contact us today if you have an ant infestation and you would like to get rid of it.