The scientists estimate ants have been around for about 110 to 130 million years sounds more like a human infestation. There are over seven billion people on the planet a rough guess puts the ant population at ten quadrillions that’s ten with 15 zeros.
If you added them all together in one big ball their biomass would be about the same weight as all of us humans combined possibly the greatest reason for the ant’s success is their ability to function as a collective whole on their own each. Ant does one small very specific thing but when they come together they form a superorganism kind of like Megazord.
The Ant Queen’s role is to reproduce often laying thousands of eggs during her reign the rest of the colony, is mainly made of sterile females who are typically either soldier’s foragers or caretakers of the Queen and her eggs. The males or drones’ only job is to inseminate the Queen and then usually die all of this is orchestrated by the ant’s incredible pheromones of which they are limited to between 10 and 20 different signals. The queen is giving off is so strong that the male drones swarm over her continually mating with her. Even though the situation does not look too promising.
Its true chemistry the over fourteen thousand species events may have had some common traits but what is truly amazing. They are their unique adaptations the leafcutter ant can carry 50 times its weight harvesting pieces of leaves to fertilize nourishing fungus the largest leaf cutters carry the leaves the medium ones cut them into pieces.
The smallest tend to the fungus inside special agricultural chambers within the ant hills honeypot ants store food and liquid in their abdomens and can reach the size of grapes. They’re like a moveable feast when other ants need nourishment. They rub the bloated ant’s antennae and it regurgitates it to load for everyone to eat YUM the notorious army ant attacks in groups of a hundred thousand or more feeding on everything in their path including bugs, small reptiles and even on the rare occasion large vertebrates.
They’re almost always on the move having only temporary burrows slave-making ants kidnap the eggs and young from other ant colonies and then force them to excavate their nests find food and care for their queen. Sometimes they just eat them.
The fire ant that lives in Brazil deals with flooding by creating a living raft they hook their legs and mouths together and float carrying the Queen safely on top until the flood subsides. Sometimes for weeks, unfortunately, he has the ability to adapt to its environment start and get a little scary as they begin their path to the world.
The Argentine ant hives are swarming across the planets they have invaded six continents in the last century establishing themselves in over 15 countries. The main reason for their dominance is that unlike other species of ants if they come across a foreign colony of Argentine ants. They won’t fight them it will join together and create supercolonies. They have claimed land that stretches for 6,000 kilometers across the coast of the Mediterranean in California and Japan.
Sadly it is often humans that spread the invasive ants bringing them to places that have no existing and populations.
The yellow ants most likely brought on board container ships invaded Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean in the 30s and have never looked back on it. Now has the highest recorded density of foraging ants with 2,000 per square meter and they are wreaking havoc the yellow crazy ants have killed between 15 and 20 million of the native red crabs that live on the Isle because this species event can shoot formic acid basically.
They shoot the acid in the eyes of the crab and blind it the crabs start frothing at the mouth and then die within a few hours in the ants eat them from the inside out. The yellow crazy ants have been spreading to other islands as well where they use similar techniques for attacking their prey. Most notably invading bird’s nests and shooting their acid on the baby birds burning and deforming them.
However, the king a rather the queen of the invasive ant is the imported red fire ant in the US alone the FDA estimates that five billion dollars a year is spent fighting the fire ant infestation these fire ants are far more aggressive than most ant species. They respond to the pheromones of the first ant that attacks thereafter attacking together in mass sometimes even against humans.
Their sting is extremely painful with their venom composed of a necrotizing alkaloid – humans this means the formation of white pustules lots of cursing and a few rare cases of death. Other insects almost always mean death there is hope, however, another crazy ant.
Raspberry or tawny ants
The raspberry or tawny ant has developed a chemical defense against the fire ants venom in battle. When the fire ant dishes out its lethal sting this species of crazy ant rises up on its hind legs secretes its own formic acid onto its abdomen and spreads it all over its body counteracting the fire ant. Alkaloid war never changes after many attempts to push back with fire ants by humans.
It appears that these raspberry crazy ants are starting to win the wartime for a celebration not really although the crazy ant’s bite is not nearly as bad as the fire ants. They, unlike fire ants, love to come into homes and are very attracted to electrical appliances. Often shorting out phones air conditioners and other devices also they multiply faster than fire ants and don’t respond to the same poisons. the deadly ant invasion is still moving slowly towards us advancing 300 feets a year.