Sparrow and Finch Gardening Six fascinating facts about ants

Six fascinating facts about ants

Have you seen ants in the past year? It was probably the Lasius Niger, also known as black garden ants in Britain. They are one of between 12,000 and 20,000 different species. They are a nuisance to gardeners, but they can also be fascinating.

These small black workers, who are wingless, run on the sidewalks, climb your plants to tend aphids, or even collect delicious morsels in your kitchen. flying insects are the offspring of these workers. What else do you need to be aware of?

The majority of ants that you see are female.

The ant has a system where the responsibilities are shared. The queen, who is also the colony’s founder, lays eggs. The worker ants are female, and they form a sisterhood that is responsible for the smooth operation of the colony.

They are responsible for a variety of tasks, including caring for the queen, the young and foraging. Most workers will never produce their own offspring. Once the colony has reached maturity, the queen will create the next generation of reproductives.

determines a female ant’s fate as a worker or king, and not genetics. The queen can be any female ant larva – the ones that receive a diet richer in proteins. Other larvae are fed less protein and become workers.

Male ants are essentially flying sperm

The male ants do not have a father, but they do have a mother. Author provided

The number of genome copies that an ant possesses determines its sex. The genome of male ants is not passed on to them by their fathers because they develop from unfertilized eggs. Male ants do not have a father and therefore cannot have sons. However, they have grandfathers who can give them grandson. In contrast, female ants develop from fertilised egg and have two copies of their genome – one copy from their father, and the other from their mother.

The male ants are like flying sperm. Each sperm has only one copy of the genome, so they are all genetically identical. Their job is done quickly, as they die shortly after mating. However, their sperm can live on for possibly years. Their only job is reproduction.

Let them eat the cake. Shutterstock

After sex, sex queens do not eat for several weeks

The winged queens and males will leave their nests to find a mate when the weather is warm and humid. This behaviour is seen during “Flying Ant Day.”” In L. In L. After mating, the queens descend to the ground, shed their wings and die. Mated queens select a nesting site and burrow in the soil that has been softened by recent rain.

Home-making in the Ant Way: Cooperation, Death and Slavery

Sometimes, two L. Sometimes two L. The cooperative relationship that initially increased the chances of colonization dissolves when new workers appear and the queens begin to fight. L. Colonies in the niger region have been known to steal young from neighbouring colonies and use them as slaves.

The evolution of slave-making in some ant species is well documented, but the animals also exhibit extraordinary cooperation. A “supercolony”, composed of millions of nests , consists of literally trillions of workers.

Male ants live only a few days, while queen ants can survive for decades

The queen’s job is not finished after establishing her colony. She still has many years to lay eggs. L. In the lab, L. The niger queens can live for up to 30 years. Males live for a little over a week, while workers live for about a year. The only reason for these extraordinary differences is the way genes are turned on and off.

Ants are beneficial to humans and the environment

The role of ants in ecosystems is diverse. Some ants are pests, while others act as bio-control agents. Ants are beneficial to ecosystems because they disperse seeds and pollinate plants, as well as improve the soil. As a source of antibiotics, ants could also be beneficial to our health.

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