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Ants

In: English and Literature

Submitted By aaliyahu13
Words 641
Pages 3
Aaliyah Underwood
Bio 1100 - XTIB
November 12, 2014

Ants

What is an ant? An ant is a small insect that is often found living in social colonies with one or more queens breeding. Ants belong to the family Formicidae and to the order Hymenoptera that also includes bees and wasps. The bodies of ants are divided into three sections. The sections of the ants are the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Many people may often get ants and termites confused. However, termites have a thicker waist between the abdomens and the thorax and ants do not. Ants also have elbowed antennae, bigger heads, and more powerful jaws. In this research paper I will discuss the ants habitat, reproduction, special adaptations and ecological significance.
HABITAT
Many ants are found particularly rotting logs that easily fall apart. Many species of ants live in the soil. Some ants such as carpenter ants live in wood and can be destructive to many buildings. Other ants live in cavities made inside of plants. In many parts of the United States, ants live in twigs or acorns on the ground. Army ants are the only ants that don’t live in a set location due to the fact that they are seeking out food for their colonies.
REPRODUCTION
The life of an ant starts with ant eggs. Fertilized ant eggs will result in a female and unfertilized ant eggs result in a male. The stages of the ant reproduction cycle: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. When ants mate they fly in the air. After they have mated the male ant dies and the female falls onto the ground and breaks off her wings. Without her wings, queen ants can be distinguished from workers by their larger body size, larger abdomen, and larger thorax. The female ant then searches for a place to start up her new colony, which she is now the queen of. Male ants usually only have one role and that is mating with the queen.
SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS Ants communicate by using pheromones. These chemicals can lead others to a food source or it can alert them to danger. Each colony of ants lives off of the pheromones of the ants in their specific colonies. Ants are sensitive to the different pheromones of another colony. Ants lack large size but their exceptionally strong body parts make up for that. The jaws of ants can decapitate enemy ants and shut so fast that biting usually causes the ant to fling backwards. Being organized is the key to having a successful colony. Soldier ants tend to be the protectors protecting the smaller parts. Older and larger ants tend to be at the front of food searching. The younger, smaller ants tend to nest within the colony and be closer to the queen.
ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE Ants are one of the most important insects and they play an important role in the environment. They help keep the environment clean. Ants eat a variety of organic material. Ants also provide food for many organisms. Ants turn the soil, allowing water and oxygen to reach the roots of plants. They act as decomposers by feeding on organic waste, dead animals, or insects. Ants are important dispersers of seeds that they harvest in many ecosystems. There are a few negative things about ants. A few species of ants would be considered pest.
CONCLUSION
Ants are the longest living insects, being as old as the dinosaurs. Ants may be smaller than most insects but they play a valuable role in the world.
WORKS CITED

1. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/ant/ 2. http://www.accessscience.com.libproxy.troy.edu/content/hymenoptera/331700 3. http://www.accessscience.com.libproxy.troy.edu/content/social-insects/630700 4. http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/pqdtopen/doc/849716687.html?FMT=ABS 5. http://insected.arizona.edu/antinfo.htm

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