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Adult ants species come in a variety of shapes and sizes but each will be one of three different colony castes; queens, workers or males.


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For the latest government guidance, visit GOV. The common varieties of ants found in the British Isles are garden insects which pose no threat to public health. They are generally beneficial to the gardener in that they break down the soil, and destroy a variety of unwanted grubs and aphids. There may be occasions however, when worker ants foraging for food gain access to the house and become a nuisance. The two common varieties of ant found in Great Britain are the red garden ant myrmica rubra and the black garden ant Lasius Niger. The red ant will not generally be found in domestic dwellings and although it does have a minor sting, it is of no public health ificance.

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Ants are common insects, but they have some unique capabilities. More than 10, known ant species occur around the world. They are especially prevalent in tropical forests, where they may be up to half of all the insects living in some locations. Ants look much like termites, and the two are often confused—especially by nervous homeowners.

However, ants have a narrow "waist" between the abdomen and thorax, which termites do not. Ants also have large he, elbowed antennae, and powerful jaws.

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These insects belong to the order Hymenoptera, which includes wasps and bees. Enthusiastically social insects, ants typically live in structured nest communities that may be located underground, in ground-level mounds, or in trees. Carpenter ants nest in wood and can be destructive to buildings. Some species, such as army ants, defy the norm and do not have permanent homes, instead seeking out food for their enormous colonies during periods of migration.

Facts, identification & control

Ant communities are headed by a queen or queens, whose function in life is to lay thousands of eggs that will ensure the survival of for colony. Workers the ant female seen by humans are wingless females that never reproduce, but instead forage for food, care for the queen's phone, work on the nest, protect the community, and perform many other duties.

Male ants often have only one role—mating with the queen. After they have performed this function, they may seeking. Ants communicate and cooperate by using chemicals that can alert others to danger or lead them to a promising food source. They typically eat nectar, seeds, fungus, or insects. However, some species have diets that are more unusual. Army ants may prey on reptiles, birds, or even small mammals. One Amazon species Allomerus decemarticulatus cooperatively builds extensive traps from plant fiber.

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These traps have many holes and, when an insect steps on one, hundreds of ants inside use the openings to seize it with their jaws. Another species, the yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipesis capable of forming so-called supercolonies that house multiple queens.

All rights reserved. A leafcutter ant photographed at St. Louis Zoo in Missouri. Common Name: Ants. Scientific Name: Formicidae. Type: Invertebrates. Diet: Omnivore.

Types of ants

Group Name: Army, colony. Average Life Span: Several weeks to several years.

Size: 0. Size relative to a paper clip:.

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