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Do ants bleed? Ant circulatory system
Ant blood is a colourless liquid. It is circulated through the body by the contraction and dilatation of the heart, which consists of a tube situated in the mid-dorsal region of the gaster. The circulatory system of ants, as in other insect...

Formicarium
A formicarium is a purposefuly designed enclosure used to contain and study ants. The classic ant farm is made of two glass or plastic panels which are close enough so the tunnels and cavities made by the ants can be seen. Commercially, th...

Eusociality
The term eusocial was introduced in 1966 by Entomologist Suzanne Batra and subsequently given the more definitive meaning of reproductive division of labour, overlapping generations and cooperative care of young by Myrmecologist E. O. Wilso...

About us
We're a community of ant enthusiasts who've been online since August 2008. Richard is the primary contributor, but he's always looking for people to get involved to help expand the resource. Entomology is the scientific study of insects an...

Keeping ants in captivity
Keeping and studying ants can be a rewarding experience. Wether you're interested in building a formicarium, finding and collecting ants, studying them or reading about studies others have undertaken, you will find much of what you need her...

Richard
Richard comes from Northumberland and works as a consultant in the IT industry. Email Richard...

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Kids keeping ants
Allowing children to keep ants can be fun for everyone and can spark your kids' interest in science. Kids will love feeding the ants and watching their activities. Make your own 'ant farm' with help from an adult. What You'll Need: Jam jar...

The Speckled Roach as live food
The Speckled roach (Nauphoeta cinerea), makes excellent live food. These are easy to keep and breed, requiring much less maintenance than crickets and grasshoppers. Nauphoeta cinerea adults reach 30mm in length but in a modest sized 'colon...

Yukinori Yanagi
Yukinori Yanagi is a renowned artist, perhaps best known for his piece 'Pacific' which consisted of a series of interconnecting perspex boxes with coloured sand to represent the flags of 49 different nations. He then released thousands of ...

Nils Otto Møller Andersen
Nils Otto Moller Andersen, born 1940, died 2004. Andersen, who had studied aquatic bugs for nearly 40 years was also part of an international group of entomologists including C. M Yang of Raffles Museum and Lanna Cheng of Scripps Institutio...

Jean Bondroit
Jean Bondroit, born 1882, died 1952. Bondroit's work was a distinct advance in ant taxonomy for it showed, in the rufa group at any rate, where characters other than colour and pilosity could be found, particularly in the until then almost ...

The Ponerine paradox
What was the fate of the first evolutionary radiation of the ants? The Sphecomyrminae evidently vanished by the end of the Mesozoic. The myrmeciines retreated to Australia and New Caledonia, and the aneuretines retreated to Sri Lanka. But t...

Locating the yellow meadow ant
Lasius flavus is a common ant in its native range, often being found in gardens as well as in meadows and moorland. I live in the North East of England and have had the greatest success finding this ant under flagstones in gardens and among...

The dynastic-succession hypothesis
The K/P (Cretaceous/Paleogene, or end-of-Mesozoic), or K/T (Cretaceous/Tertiary, as commonly denoted) extinction event may have terminated the sphecomyrmine ants, or these insects could have vanished before the event, but anatomically primi...

North East ant finds
Here are a few of my ant finds of August 2008. You can use the googlemap controls to zoom and view satallite imagry of these locations. It might give a rough idea of the sort of locations you can expect to find these species. Clicking the m...

Ants of the Netherlands
Ants are relativley scarce in the Netherlands. Quater of the countries landmass is below sea level and is comprised almost compltely of lowlands. As result of this and urbanisation, the species list for the Netherlands comprises of only 66 ...

Ants of Indian
India has had an active and varied geological history, sitting as it does on a tectonic plate which separated from Gondwanaland during the late Cretaceous, then collided with Eurasia in the Coenozoic. The collision led to the formation of T...

Army ants
The term Army Ant is broadly applied to over 200 species of migratory ant due to their aggressiveness, predatory nature and massive colony size. Army ants do not construct a permanent nest so commonly associated with other species of ant, i...

Ant rain!
If you have ever gone into thick deciduous woodland during June, July and August where Formica rufa abounds, you will have noticed a peculiar type of rain falling on top of you. This rain is peculiar because it falls when there are no cloud...

Ant mandibles
The 'jaws' of an ant are know as the Mandibles. Mandibles are perhaps more specialised in ants than in any other insect. Ants use their mandibles for a diverse range of functions, and are thus constrained by the need to have mandibles which...

Ant life cycle
Ants are insects that undergo a complete metamorphosis. Ants begin life as eggs. Fertilised eggs develop into females; those that are not develop into males. An egg hatches into a barely mobile larva, which goes through a series of moults b...

Ant larva
The larvae of ants belong to the vermiform type, being without legs, or eyes. They are helpless white or yellowish grubs, entirely dependent on the queens and workers. Larva are usually pear-shaped, or sack-like, being broadest posteriorly,...

Ant thorax
The thorax is divided into four segments, the prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax, and epinotum. The epinotum (which is the metanotum of some earlier writers and the propodeum of others) was the first abdominal segment of the larva, which has...

Ant genomes
Current evidence suggests that the last common ancestor of the ants lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, 140-168 million years ago. This ancestor was already eusocial (a term used to describe the highest level of social organis...

Ant genome sequencing
In the first half of 2011 the genomes of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile ) and the red harvester ant ( Pogonomyrmex barbatus ) were sequenced. This sequencing provides insights on how ant embryos with the same genetic code develop in...

Ant community ecology in bird's nest ferns
Tropical rainforests are hotspots of species diversity for many taxonomic groups. But why should there be so many species? How are they all able to coexist? These are the questions I have been seeking to answer during the course of my PhD. ...

Ant colony odour
Ants are covered with a layer of long-chain fatty acids called hydrocarbons which they use to tell nest mates from none-nest mates. Not only does each colony of ants have a colony specific odour, but in many species, workers will have a dif...

Ant physiology
Ants are distinct from other insects in having the following: Elbowed antennae Metapleural glands (glands which produce and secrete antibiotics onto the exoskeleton, preventing the growth of bacteria and fungus) A narrow waist (a considera...

Myrmecomorphy: Ant mimicry
Many species of ants form symbiotic relationships with a range of animal and plant species, including other ants, other insects, plants, and fungi. Many arthropod species spend their lives within ant nests, to prey on ants and their brood ...

Honourable mentions
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Ants in your region
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Tetramorium caespitum: Pavement ant
Tetramorium caespitum is an ant species native to Europe and was introduced to North America in the 18th century. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 and are known as pavement ants in the USA as they frequently nest under and ar...

Myrmecia esuriens: Tasmanian inchman
Myrmecia esuriens , known as Tasmanian Inchman, is a species of bulldog ant that is endemic to Tasmania. Worker of this species reach sizes in excess of 18 mm, this being medium-sized for the Myrmecia genus where some members reach over 30 ...

Solenopsis invicta: Red imported fire ant
Solenopsis invicta is the red imported fire ant. Native to South America, it has become a pest in the southern United States, Australia and Taiwan....

Solenopsis fugax: The European thief ant
Solenopsis fugax is notable due to being the only member of its genus (Solenopsis) to be native to the British Isles (where it is rare). The ant was first described by Latreille in 1798. The species is a thief ant and usually has its nest n...

Pogonomyrmex barbatus: The Red harvester ant
The primary source of food for Red Harvester Ants are seeds, which they hoard in great numbers, hence their common name. Pogonomyrmex barbatus will forage at distances up to around 20 meters from the nest site. Mated females (and hence col...

Pheidole megacephala: The bigheaded ant
Pheidole megacephala is a species of ant in the family Formicidae and is thought to have originally been confined to Mauritius. It has spread via human shipping activities and is now present in the USA where it is commonly known as the bigh...

Odontomachus bauri: Trap-jaw ants
Odontomachus bauri is a species of ponerinae ant, members of Odontomachus genus are often reffered to as Trap-jaw ants. The ant can be found in Costa Rica and throughout tropical South America, the West Indies (absent from Cuba and Bahamas...

Myrmica rubra: The common red ant
The Common Red Ant ( Myrmica rubra ) ranges throughout Europe as well as Japan and North America as an invasive species. It is thought to originate from Central Europe and was first discovered in the USA in Massachusetts in 1908 by Wheeler....

Myrmecia pilosula: Jack jumper ant
Myrmecia pilosula is a species of bulldog ant native to Australia and is known as the jack jumper ant. These ants are found throughout Australia, but are mostly concentrated in Tasmania and the southeast area of South Australia. Workers rea...

Myrmecia gulosa: Red bull ant
Myrmecia gulosa , known as the red or giant bull ant, is a species of bull/bulldog ant native to Australia. It is abundant in the East of the country. Myrmecia gulosa is one of the worlds largest ant species with workers reaching up to 30 ...

Lasius flavus: The yellow meadow ant
The Yellow Meadow Ant ( Lasius flavus ), is a common ant in Europe. As L. flavus is usually entirely subterranean, it is not as commonly seen as Lasius niger or various Myrmica sp . L. flavus also occurs in Asia, North Africa and North Amer...

Myrmecia forficata: The inchman
Myrmecia forficata is a species of bull/bulldog ant native to Australia. The ants are recorded in the south eastern part of the country, but are most often found in Tasmania. It is known as the inchman and has perhaps the most potent sting ...

Monomorium pharaonis: The pharaoh ant
Monomorium pharaonis workers are very small, around 2mm in length and tend to be yellow or light brown. M. pharaonis is thought to have originated from West Africa and Indonesia. Since being introduced to virtually every area of the world i...

Iridomyrmex purpureus: The meat ant
Iridomyrmex purpureus , also known as meat ants, meat-eater ants or gravel ants are an ant species found throughout Australia. These ants form underground nests and reach colony sizes up to 65,000 individuals. Iridomyrmex purpureus is so p...

Harpegnathos saltator: Jerdon's jumping ant
Harpegnathos saltator is a species of ant found across the Indian subcontinent and is sometimes known as Jerdon's jumping ant. They are characterised by their particularly large eyes and long mandibles, constricted abdomen and their ability...

Formica lugubris: The hairy northern wood ant
Formica lugubris is a species of ant in the family Formicidae and is found throughout Europe in aged coniferous forest in spots exposed to the sun, along woodland rides and in clearings where it constructs conical nests out of millions of c...

Camponotus detritus: Namib desert dune ant
Camponotus detritus is known as the Namib Desert Dune Ant and was first described in 1886 by Italian entomologist Carlo Emery. C. detritus is found only in the hyper-arid Namib Desert (Namibia) and is noted for its significantly lower vent...

Camponotus: Carpenter ants
Camponotus are a genus of ants commonly reffered to as "Carpenter ants" Image Copyright© hugo D....

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Do ants bleed? Ant circulatory system
Ant blood is a colourless liquid. It is circulated through the body by the contraction...

Formicarium
A formicarium is a purposefuly designed enclosure used to contain and study ants. The...

Eusociality
The term eusocial was introduced in 1966 by Entomologist Suzanne Batra and subsequentl...

About us
We're a community of ant enthusiasts who've been online since August 2008. Richard is ...

Keeping ants in captivity
Keeping and studying ants can be a rewarding experience. Wether you're interested in b...

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