Do Ants Always Live in Colonies?

Not only do ants always live in colonies, but the way they organize these colonies is one is one of the most fascinating things about them. They may live in colonies of several hundred thousand or in colonies with as few as 12 members.

They may have their homes entirely underground, or in wood, or in high mound, or in an acorn. About 20 of the 2,000-odd species of this amazing little insect are found in Great Britain. The most common are the red and black ants.

All ants are social insects, their communities are like little nations with their queens winged males and females, and wingles workers. The mound buildings-ants such as big wood as common in some countries, build structures often to a height of 1 meter and a width of 30 centimeters.


Some kinds keep slave. They go out on great war like-little expeditions against smaller species, drive them out of their nests, and plunder their eggs, larvae, pupae and stores of food to take back to their own nests.

The captured eggs, larvae and pupae are carefully looked after until they are grown to maturity, when they are made to serve their captors. In Central Afrika, South America and southern Asia, there are species which are carnivorous.

These are sometimes called “driver ants”, and they are greatly feared, for they march relentlessy in long columns in search of living flesh. The bigest and fiercest of animals are helpless in the face of an army of driver ants, ant are driven frantic by the millions of bites unless they can reach water and drown their tormentors. Nothing can withstand the remorseless savagery of driver ants on the march.     

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