Do Ants Belong to Insects?

Besides being one of the most abundant insects on earth, ants also play an important role in natural ecosystems. These insects have been known to contribute more than a quarter of the total terrestrial animal biomass. They are found on almost every landmass on earth.

Besides consuming plant and animal matter, ants also disperse and recycle materials. They can add one inch to topsoil every 250 years. Their lifespans vary according to species. Some ants live only a few weeks while others live up to three years.

The lifespan of an ant is largely influenced by the type of food they eat. Some species have an herbivorous diet while others eat meat. Others eat honeydew or honey. Some ants have poison glands. Others have stingers. Some ants live in colonies.

Ants have a complex social structure. They live in colonies that are called “nests”. The nest protects the queen and the brood. The nest also helps the ants communicate. The ants communicate through their senses of smell and touch. In some cultures, ants are treated as messengers of the gods.

Ants are classified into three main groups. They are Formicinae, Myrmecinae, and Ponerinae. The Formicinae are the most common. The other two subfamilies are rare.

Ants have three body parts: a hard outer shell called the exoskeleton, a thorax, and a waist. Ants also have mandibles for grabbing. They have two pairs of appendages on their heads, called antennae, which are used to communicate with other ants.