You can eat ants and lavae just like wild animals do. They are a good source of protein. The are a delicasy in some parts of the world. Some types are toxic and others taste bad. You can buy them chocolate covered.
A 3 oz serving of ants has 14g protein. There are about 400 ants to the gram. One single ant has about .5 calories.
You should kill them before comsuming so they do not bite you, and avoid fire ants.
There are 14k species. Some taste sour, others are tangy or citrus.
Ants are social insects that live in huge groups. They come in different species amounting to millions per a given colony.
In a given colony, you will find three types of ants: the male, the female workers and the queen. While the male together with the queen comprise of wings, the workers don’t. The queen is the only type of ant known to lay eggs. The males do not live for long as they die after mating with the upcoming queens, which is their role, when the queen gets to a mature age; its job is entirely to lay eggs for the entire life. A given colony of ants may have several queens or one determined by the species.
Also, the ant colonies have s security wing highly manned by the ant soldiers. They make sure that the queen is safe, the colony is defended and food is provided. Besides, they intrude other rival colonies in search for breeding space and food. A defeated ant colony also leaves behind their eggs for the winning colony becoming their “slaves” after hatching.
The kind of work to be done by “slave” ants include taking care of newly hatched ants, protecting the colony, building the anthills and searching for food.
The Different Ant Species
As earlier mentioned, ants comprises of different species. This article explores the various species which include:
1. Carpenter Ants
They are known to erect their homes on wood which gave rise to the name. Your house could be severely damaged if invaded by the carpenter ants. The carpenter ants also have different varieties according to size.
Each of its colonies is brought to existence by a fertilized queen. In a wood nest, it raises its worker by feeding them on saliva. During this period, the queen stays hungry.
After they come of age, the worker ants start looking for food for the next batch of ants. Because of their speedy growth, the worker bees can get to 2000 bees in a colony.
Carpenter ants are usually black or red in color, have six legs and varying number of wings, fall under the formicidea family and Camponotus species.
They feed on insects both living and dead, fats, meat and sugary substances like nectar and even honey dew.
2. Pavement Ants
They camp under or inside broken pavements by making these nests there. In most cases, you’ll locate them on California, eastern parts of the US and in Washington. You may find between 2000 to 3000 ants in a pavement ants colony. They also have several numbers of queens.
Pavement ants may be black to dark brown in color, have an oval or segmented body, have six legs, fall in love under the formicidae family and belong to Tetramorium caespitum family.
These ants may feed on anything like geese, bread, seeds, insects, bread, nuts, meat or even honey.
3. Odorous Ants
When crushed, these types of ants release a bad severe smell similar to that of rotten coconuts. Besides, they make their nests in houses or around them which explains the name. They are known to be very sociable and comprise of around 100, 000 odorous ants in a given colony.
They come in oval or segmented shape and are brown or black in color. They have six legs, varying wings and belong to the tapinoma sessile species.
In most cases, they feed on sugary things like the water melon or on dead insects.
4. The Red Imported Fire Ants
They are known to be aggressive compared to other types of ants and their sting is very painful. You are therefore advised to stay away from this type of ants as well as their nests. They are also quite adaptive either to their environment or the weather and climate. For instance, they cling together in a ball like form when they sense increased amounts of water in the nest.
They also come in oval or segmented shape and have a darkish brown color. These ants belong to the Solenopis Invicta species.
They mainly feed on vegetation.
5. The Argentine Ants
This type of ants originated from Argentina and also Brazil explaining the name. In 1890s, they were shipped to the United States and may be spotted in the southern parts states. They are also found in Maryland, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington and Missouri.
Like most of the ants, the Argentine types are either segmented or oval in shape and belong to the linepithema humile family.
When in comes to feeding, the Argentine ants devour anything from oils to meat, fats to eggs
However, they prefer sweet foods. To ensure that they do not visit the same place twice when in search of food, they leave a trail behind called the pheromone trail. One outstanding thing about these ants is that their queen aids them in search of food.
Fascinating Facts about Ants
. Ants are devoid of lungs. Oxygen penetrates into their body though holes on their bodies and it’s through the very holes that carbon dioxide gets out.
. When the queen ants are starting off a new nest, they shade off their wings.
. There are over 12, 000 types of ant species around the globe.
.Some types of queens ants can have a millions babies in a lifetime since they can live for long.
. An ant can manage to lift a weight that is 20 times heavier than it is.
.Ants are devoid of ears. They rely on vibration from the ground through their feet.
. The death of a queen results to the destruction of the colony. This is because workers cannot reproduce and queens are hardly replaced. The group therefore survives for only a short while before dying.
. The moment ants fight, they do so to death.
Advantages of Ants to the Environment
Despite causing destruction in homes like the carpenter ants, these insects also play a huge role in the ecosystem. They help in improving the soil structure and texture. They also add to the soil fertility through excretion and the foods they store. Also, ants aid in seed dispersing as well as eating pests that may be found on your farm produce.
Ants are a good survival food.