Which Ants Do the Work of Ferrying Food?
Several ants do the work of ferrying food, including forager ants, which build tunnels and use them to travel. These tunnels are often two meters deep and connected to nests.
The tunnels help improve water circulation and airflow in the soil. They also form voids, which help increase nutrient availability. They also form chambers for nesting and feeding, as well as for females to lay eggs.
Carpenter ants use pheromones to find food. They follow other ants’ pheromone trails. They also use visual memories to find food.
Many ants can cooperatively transport large food items, such as seeds. Some species create barely noticeable anthills on the surface of the soil. Other species build massive networks of connected tunnels deep under the ground.
Many ant species are general predators, while others specialize in a few foods. Some forage during the day and others during the night. Other species forage only in cool evenings and mornings.
The Malaysian leaf-cutter ant creates central nests. These nests are usually located two meters below the ground. Other ants, such as the Minim ant, are specialized garbage collectors. They clean up decaying organic matter from fungal gardens. They then dispose of it in dedicated garbage rooms.
The Argentinian ant is a mobile forager. They divide into new groups as they travel. Each group consists of a queen ant, which is constantly buried in a nest, and several worker ants. They can travel up to 100 yards from their nest to search for food.