Ants are one of the most successful groups of insects in the animal kingdom. They are of particular interest because they are social insects and form highly organized colonies or nests which sometimes consist of millions of individuals. Colonies of invasive ant species will sometimes work together and form super-colonies, spanning a very wide area of land. Ant colonies are sometimes described as superorganisms because they appear to operate as a single entity.
Ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth. They can constitute up to 15% of the total animal biomass of a tropical rainforest; in the Amazon the combined weight of the ants is said to be four times larger than that of the tetrapods in the same area. It has also been estimated that the combined weight of all ants exceeds the weight of mankind.
As of 2006, there are 11,880 known ant species, most of which reside in hot climates. We have listed some of the species here, we will continue to add to our database.
The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, formerly Iridomyrmex humilis) is a tiny dark ant native to northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. The species has been inadvertently introduced by humans to many other areas of the world, such as South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Easter Island, Australia, Hawaii, Europe, and the United States.
Paraponera is a genus of ant consisting of a single species, the so-called bullet ant (P. clavata), named on account of its powerful and potent sting, which is said to be as painful as being shot with a bullet. It is called by the locals, "Hormiga Veinticuatro," or "24-hour ant", from 24 hours of pain that follow a stinging.
Belonging to the Myrmecia pilosula family, The jack jumper ant, hopper ant or jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) is a species of bulldog ant that is native to Australia. The ants are recorded throughout the country, but are most often found in Tasmania, rural Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and the southeast area of South Australia.
Belonging to the Monomorium pharaonis family. Up to 300,000 workers with multiple queens will nest in wall and cabinet voids, behind baseboards, behind refrigerator insulation, inside hollow curtain rods, or in the folds of sheets, clothes, or paper. They follow plumbing and wiring and have been found in light switches and electrical outlets.
Some ants will raid the colonies of other ants, taking the pupae with them, which once hatched act as workers in the raider's colonies despite not being genetically related to the queen. A few species, such as the Amazon ants (e.g. Polyergus rufescens), have become utterly dependent on such slaves, to the point of being otherwise unable to feed themselves.
Belonging to the Hymenoptera Acanthomyops Family. The larger yellow ant belongs to the order Hymenoptera, the family Formicidae and the genus Acanthomyops. They are found mostly in New England and the Midwest, but are common coast to coast. These ants are large, ranging from 4 mm to 4.5 mm in length. The workers are pale yellow to yellowish-red, while the winged reproductives are brown.