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Creepy Crawly Facts: Ants

Ants may be one of the hardest little workers in the insect community, but they are also a source of fears. Someone with a phobia for ants is called myrmecophobia. Some nightmares involve the sensations of ants crawling over the dreamer’s body. There are millions upon millions of ants in the world and some of the most interesting facts about this insect are found in this article.

Healing Ants
India, Asia and South America have a close relationship with carpenter ants, as they have been used in alternative medicine to close wounds for more than 3,000 years.

No Shuteye
Ants don’t sleep, but they do yawn.

Ant Species Count
In the world, there are more than 10,000 known species of ants.

Raiders
Some species of ants actually raid the nests of other groups and take the workers to their own nest as slaves.

Death to the Colony
The queen is the one important member of an ant colony because when she dies, the entire colony perishes along with her. This is because no new workers can be created.

Learning About Ants
Those who like studying ants follow the latest information on myrmecology.

Strong Workers
We’ve all heard that ants are strong, but did you know they can lift an object up to 50 times their own body weight and carry it over their heads? All of this is accomplished by using their mouths and their legs do not play a role in this action.

The Amazing Leaf-Cutter Queen
Just before establishing a new colony, the leaf-cutter ant queen will mate only one time. Amazingly, she can hold onto the sperm for up to 15 years and will produce as many as 300 million offspring during her lifetime.

The Bull Ant
The bull ant (also known as the bulldog ant) is a large, aggressive ant equipped with a long, straight, powerful jaw that delivers a sting filled with venom. This species is known as one of the most aggressive ants. Interestingly, a species closely related to the bull ant has been uncovered in fossils in Australia and Asia that date back to the Triassic Period (245 million years ago).

Ants and Other Insects
When out and about, ants will establish relationships with other insects, such as aphids, scale bugs and bark lice. They will protect, groom and even raise these insects because they get something in return. These insects are known to secrete a milky substance called honeydew. The ants will even go as far as to tote these insects around in their jaws , much like the way a mother cat will transport her kittens.

Big Bottom Ant
The big bottom ant is scientifically called the Hormiga culona and has been a favorite amongst locals in Columbia, who consider them a delicacy. Locals will roast the ants in salt and eat as a snack. This trend also caught on in France and England. It is said that the roasted ant tastes like buttered popcorn.

No S.O.S. for the Ant
Drowning an ant is a difficult task to accomplish because the insects possess very tiny breathing tubes that water cannot breach. Because of this, an ant can actually survive for up to two weeks submerged under water.