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KENYAN SAFARIS: ANTS
Ants are found all over the world, from the hottest deserts to the lush green rainforests. We can find them in our backyards, in our homes, and even in our workplaces. Ants live in colonies and a single colony may have over a million ants. There are several different types of ants. Some of the better-known varieties are the army ants, driver ants, honeypot ants, weaver ants, leafcutter ants, fire ants, silver ants, and bulldog ants. All ant colonies are comprised of three types of ants, namely the worker ants, the soldier ants, and the single queen ant.
The behavior of ants may vary according to their type. The size of ants range from two to 25 millimeters and their color may vary from red to brown or black.
Army ants and driver ants are highly evolved ants. Army ants are found in South America and driver ants are found in Africa. Unlike other ants, these do not have permanent nests. These colonies reproduce by two methods – fission or nuptial flights.
Honeypot ants generally have enlarged abdomens. They usually live in hot, dry places such as Australia, Africa, North America and they can be found in deserts as well. These ants are also considered a great delicacy.
Ants that make their nests in trees by attaching leaves together are known as weaver ants. These creatures first pull the leaves together with a bridge of workers and then they sew the leaves together by pressing silk producing larvae on the leaves.
Leafcutter ants live only within their colony and feed exclusively on fungus. These ants come in different sized castes to carry out various functions that are to be performed in the colony. Another unique type of ant is the fire ant. These ants have a sac of poison that is filled with piperidine alkaloids. The Australian bulldog ants are those with only one chromosome and these are amongst the biggest and most primitive varieties of ants.
Ants are of different types and are one of the most common creatures in the world. In spite of their small size, they may pose a threat to humans as well as animals.