Army Ants Scientific Name: A colony of Army ants marching towards you would be intimidating indeed. The Army ant is gold to dark brown in color and depending on the rank of the soldier can be anywhere from 3 to 12 mm in length. Like a good soldier would, the Army ant uses its specialized armor to protect its colony:
Workers[ edit ] The workers of army ants are usually blind or can have compound eyes Army ants are reduced to a single lens. There are species of army ants where the worker caste may show polymorphism based on physical differences and job allocations; however, there are also species that show no polymorphism at all.
They protect the colony, and help carry the heaviest loads of prey to the nest. Males[ edit ] Males are large in size and have a large cylindrical abdomen, highly modified mandibles and uncommon genitalia not seen in other ants.
In some instances where males seek to mate with a queen from an existing colony, the receiving workers will forcibly remove the wings in order to accommodate the large males into the colony for mating.
The queen is dichthadiigyne a blind ant with large gaster but may sometimes possess vestigial eyes. The soldiers have created a tunnel through which the workers move, and clearly show their mandibles Army ant syndrome[ edit ] The army ant syndrome refers to behavioral and reproductive traits such as obligate collective foraging, nomadism and highly specialized queens that allow these organisms to become the most ferocious social hunters.
The constant traveling is due to the need to hunt large amounts of prey to feed its enormous colony population. All three of these traits are found to be in all army ant species and the defining traits of army ants. This phase will last approximately 15 days to let the larvae develop.
The ants move during the day, capturing insectsspidersand small vertebrates to feed their brood. At dusk, they will form their nests or bivouacwhich they change almost daily. The colony can then live in the same bivouac site for around 20 days, foraging only on approximately two-thirds of these days.
The stationary phase, which lasts about two to three weeks, begins when the larvae pupate. From this point on, the prey that were previously fed to the larvae are now fed exclusively to the queen. At the end of the stationary phase, both the pupae emerge from their cocoons eclosion and the next generation of eggs hatch so the colony has a new group of workers and larvae.
After this, the ants resume the nomadic phase. When the colony fissions, there are two ways new queens are decided. A possible outcome is a new queen will stay at the original nest with a portion of the workers and the male brood while the old queen will leave with the other portion of workers and find a new nest.
Another possibility is that the workers will reject the old queen and new queens will head the two new colonies. When new bivouacs are formed, communication between the original colony and the new bivouacs will cease to exist. Army ant queens never have to leave the protection of the colony, where they mate with foreign incoming males which disperse on nuptial flights.
The exact mating behavior of the army ant queen is still unknown, but observations seem to imply that queens may be fertilized by multiple males. Most of the time, if the queen dies, the colony will most likely die too.
Queen loss can occur due to accidents during emigrations, predator attack, old age or illness.
When a colony loses its queen, the worker ants will usually fuse with another colony that has a queen in a few days. Sexual selection by workers[ edit ] Workers in army ant species have a unique role in selecting both the queen and the male mate.Instead, this tiny beetle -- only millimeters long -- lives alongside a species of nomadic army ant.
— Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet the top 10 new species of ," 23 May It's named for Daniel Kronauer, a field biologist who studies army ants and discovered the species.
— Ashley. Find army ant facts on control and read how to get rid of army ants. Do they attack? What do they eat? Where do they live?
What do they look like? Call the professionals at Orkin .
Looking to learn more about army ant facts in general? Improve your knowledge on what they eat and find out more about these insects with DK Find Out. A soldier needs adequate armor, and the Army ant has got it: long, pointed, sickle-shaped mandibles, compound eyes, double-segmented waists, hooks on hands and feet, long legs, and a proper sting.
Jun 09, · Driver Ants aka Army Ants. see urbanagricultureinitiative.com Copyright belongs to Science Channel. Astonishing footage shows the ingenious way that army ants perform raids on enemy wasp nests.