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Two ants on an oak
Two ants on an oak (Pictures of ants)

Ants (Formicidae) - Ant species
Ants (Formicidae), a family within the order Hymenoptera, are among the colony building insects and are found almost everywhere in the world, but are especially common in the tropics. From the 12, 500 species that are known, 180 can be found in Europe. In Germany, the Red forest ant and the Black garden ant are the best known ant species. Fossils of ants have been found dating back to 130 million years ago.
Ant carries a piece of bread
Ant carries a piece of bread (Pictures of ants)
Ants can form permanent nests or be nomadic. They are highly organized and have a social stratification system (caste system), with each insect performing a particular task. Several million ants can live in a colony. Most of these are infertile females and are workers or soldiers with duties both outside and inside the nest.

Only the queen ant can produce eggs. The males - like the young queens have wings, and their only task is to fertilize the eggs. The workers and soldiers are much smaller than the queens. They have poison glands on the abdomen which at many species are connected with poison stings.
Ant - Top view
Ant - Top view (Pictures of ants)
Sense of smell and sense of taste are highly developed in ants. They communicate primarily by means of pheromones. Ants always behave aggressively when they encounter ants from other colonies. The Red forest ant is an example of an omnivore. Its diet consists of insects like caterpillars, butterflies and flies as well as other invertebrates like spiders.
Ant on a honey drop
Ant on a honey drop (Pictures of ants)
Excretions of other insects (honeydew of lice), nectar, seeds, fruit or pollen, in addition to many parts of plants also form part of their diet. Driver ants prey on other insects and animals. Some species are scavengers and feed on the excreta of other insects. Others collect seeds, grow mushrooms or dig tunnels into the nests of other insects to steal their breeds and to feed on them.
Ant Queen - infesting by parasites
Ant Queen - infesting by parasites (Pictures of ants)
It is reported that ants domesticate or enslave other ants from different colonies. Ants which form permanent nests most frequently live beneath the ground. Other forms of dwelling are hill nests, wood nests or silk nests.
Ants - Young Queen
Ants - Young Queen (Pictures of ants)
In addition to anteaters (which only exist outside Europe) , ants have several natural enemies - certain bird species, small snakes, amphibians and spiders Other insects or spiders sometimes live as guests in the ant nest. Ants are often attacked by blood-sucking parasites such as mites. Some people regard ants as harmful especially those who collect cereal seeds or keep aphids domesticated in the garden.

Furthermore, skin contact with the poison from fire ants can cause allergic reactions. Overall, however, ants, are very beneficial because they ventilate and mix the soil. Pet ants live in a box from glass what is known as a Formicarium.

Common namesAnts
German namesAmeisen
Dutch namesMieren
Danish namesMyrerne, Myrer
Finnish namesMuurahaiset
Norwegian namesMaur
Swedish namesMyror
Spanish namesHormigas
Italian namesFormiche
French namesFourmis
AuthorLatreille, 1809




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Links and ReferencesFormicidae in
Formicidae in
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Formicidae in Wikipedia (English)

Further chapters of "Ants"
- Camponotus ligniperda
- Black Garden Ant
- Crematogaster scutellaris
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Two ants on an oak
2. Ant carries a piece of bread
3. Ant - Top view
4. Ant on a honey drop
5. Ant Queen - infesting by parasites
6. Ants - Young Queen
Quick search: Ants - Ant - Formicidae - Sense - Taste - Small
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Wasps, Bees, Ants, Sawflies, Ants and wasps
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AuthorLatreille, 1809
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