Ants: solenopsis geminate, the north American fire ant, is a serious crop pest. The common name derives from the burning sensation caused by the ants venmous bittes. Body length 0.03-0.2 inches (1-6mm). and Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Cretaceous period.
Common name: Ants
Number of species: About 15,000 (about 600 u.s.)
Size: From About 0.04 in (1mm) to about 1.4 in (3.5 cm)
Key Features: Body usully black, brown, reddish, or yellowish; eyes small; antennae elbowed; waist (known as a pedicel) with one or two beadlike or scalelike segments; stinger may be present; wings absent in workers-usually present in sexual froms, but discarded later
Habits: All ants are fully social often constructing very large nests containing thousands of individuals; some species live in the nests of others or take other species aal slaves
Breeding: most species release large numbers of winged males and females, which form nuptial swams; after mating, queens break off their wings and establish new nest, usually without help of male, who normally dies (unlike in termites, where male becomes king alongside his queen); queen ant stores all spem needed for fertilizing many eggs over a long period
Diet: Adults feed mainly on nectar and honeydew or on fungus: larvae eat food of animal (mainly insect) or plant (mainly seed) origin; sole diet for some species is a fungus that they cultivate in species gardens
Habitat: Found in all terrestrial habitats, where they are often dominant ; no aquatic species
Distribution: Worldwide; commonest in the tropics, absent for very dry or cold areas
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