Ants May Rule the World.

Just a few of the 12,000 species of Ants

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Bellicose looking Army AntBullet Ant...nasty chappie with the most painful sting of ALL insects.Black Bulldog AntDriver Ant council of warFire Ant scourge of the picnicFire any biteJack Jumper Ant  Can be fatalThe Pharaoh Ant.  Likes your bloodLeaf cutter ants: charmer of the ant world.We're almost ready to take over the planet!!Ant Jaws!  Showing the mandibles of the Carpenter Ant, non-venomus wood eater...he can nip hard!
Bellicose looking Army Ant
Bellicose looking Army Ant
Bullet Ant...nasty chappie with the most painful sting of ALL insects.
Bullet Ant...nasty chappie with the most painful sting of ALL insects.
Black Bulldog Ant
Black Bulldog Ant
Driver Ant council of war
Driver Ant council of war
Fire Ant scourge of the picnic
Fire Ant scourge of the picnic
Fire any bite
Fire any bite
Jack Jumper Ant  Can be fatal
Jack Jumper Ant Can be fatal
The Pharaoh Ant.  Likes your blood
The Pharaoh Ant. Likes your blood
Leaf cutter ants: charmer of the ant world.
Leaf cutter ants: charmer of the ant world.
We're almost ready to take over the planet!!
We're almost ready to take over the planet!!
Ant Jaws!  Showing the mandibles of the Carpenter Ant, non-venomus wood eater...he can nip hard!
Ant Jaws! Showing the mandibles of the Carpenter Ant, non-venomus wood eater...he can nip hard!

The Meek Shall Inherit...!

Antsy About Ants? Maybe You Should Be!

If there is any one creature tipped to take over the earth after man’s demise, it is the ant. In fact, they could probably do so now if the thought occurred to them, and if they weren’t so busy fighting among themselves, (another reason they would fit right into our shoes).  In fact, in a recent study in Yale or Halfhard, or one of those US seats of learning, ants broke into the lab and carried off radioactive material and stored it in their nests in the uni walls without any apparent harm to themselves.  They must be praying for the nucleur holacaust to start!

There are about 12,000 types of ants we know about and perhaps as many again we don’t. Their diet consists of just about everything: some subsist almost exclusively on animal protean, others do well on vegetable matter, often using it to feed other organisms on which they feed. They are found in almost every climate, from the steamy Amazon to the tundra of the Arctic. The Antarctic and a few islands are the only ant free places on the planet.

Most ants can bite and are venomous to other insects. A few, such as Australia’s Jack Jumper Ants have a venom that can and has been fatal to man: so much so, a special antivenin is available. That nation also plays host to the huge, aggressive Bulldog Ant with large mandibles capable of a very painful nip. Fire Ants are distributed in many places, many with venom causing painful bites. One particularly nasty chap, the Bullet Ant, has the most painful sting in the insect world, according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Register. Ants are, of course, related to wasps and bees, in the family Formicidae, so the intensity of their nips should be no surprise.

Ants have been around a long time, for more than 120 million years, appearing in the fossil record in the mid Cretaceous. So successful have they become, their bulk adds up to around 20% of the biomass on Earth! Their success is mainly due to their uncanny talent for unified thought, each ant seeming to know what all the others are thinking and to act accordingly for the benefit of the whole. Their accurate communication by the use of phenoromes well documented. Less well known is that many species are capable of communicating with sounds generated by mandibles and legs.

Some ants are definitely a mixed blessing to man. The Pharaoh Ant is the scourge of hospitals where it will feed on wounds, dressings and just about anything containing fluids or blood. This tiny, transparent ant has now spread all over the world and is proving impossible to eradicate.

Army Ants are the darling of Hollywood “creature features.” They are one horror that really needs no exaggeration by the director. They go on the march through the jungles of the tropical regions of South America, quickly swarming over all in their path and overwhelming it with their sheer numbers and the accumulation of venom from a million bites. Everything gets out of their way, including man, especially as left to their own devices, they will eradicate all other bugs and vermin from the huts along the way. Most of the larger mammals that fall prey to the armies are sick or wounded, healthier individuals quickly leave the area.

The Driver Ants of Africa are cousins to the army ants. They do more or less the same job, but with even more formidable ambition as they have been known to dispose of lions and buffalo (albeit wounded). These critters have such powerful mandibles they have been used in lieu of stitches to hold the edges of a machete slash together. After the ant has been encouraged to clamp down on the flesh, the body is quickly snipped off and the mandibles remain locked in place in a bulldog grip.

The aforementioned Fire Ants have relentlessly marched north from South America and have infiltrated into many US states. The bite of this ant is not life-threatening unless you are allergic to the acid-like, burning venom. But the bites are very painful and can leave nasty, puss-filled blisters. Great fun at the family picnic. The kids will love you, dad, for having brought them to this sylvan glade!

When I was a horrible little Dennis the Menace, I used to target poor little black ants with my magnifying glass, focusing the rays of the sun on them until they stopped, shriveled and melted. Which is why, I am sure, when once pissed in the Aussie outback I had a snooze against a tree and got covered in about 10 green tree ants - the large, iridescent ones with red eyes and a “Ouchhhhhhh!” bite. Aussies will know the ones I mean as just one can get you dancing and a nip on a finger can paralyze your whole arm. I never forget the half dozen bites I got before leaping up and screaming, and hope I have paid for my childhood cruelty.

The fascinating Leaf Cutter Ants. These are about my all-time favorite insect (apart from the Monarch Butterflies). To watch a long line of them, each carrying a “sail” of a piece of leaf many times heavier than they are will either give you a surge of affection, or generate a snarl of rage if it is your garden being raided. To ponder on this marvel we call life as you realize they take all these leafy offering to others in the nest who chop them into even smaller pieces and then add them to a bed to feed the beds of fungus deep in their nests. The ant larvae then feed on the fungus and the adult ants on the sap from the leaves. All the 41 species of leaf-cutting ants are native only to the Americas. What a peaceful and creative existence; such harmony and understanding of the balance of nature…is man really the highest form of life? You have to wonder; perhaps this pyramid is inverted.

 

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Comments 18 comments

thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

very unique hub always learning thnaks


IsadoraPandora profile image

IsadoraPandora 6 years ago from Florida, PCB

We call fire ants p*ss ants here- for obvious reasons, LOL. Ouch! Great hub!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks for kind comments. Bob


lapanhaz profile image

lapanhaz 6 years ago from Phnom Penh

Thank For this Hub.

I learn a lot from you.

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Thank For Download And Sharing.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

This is a wonderful read and information. Thank you so much.


AARON99 6 years ago

A very informative hub and also well written. Well done. Enjoy.


stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 6 years ago from Australia

Great info. I'm currently having trouble with ants eating my strawberries just before their ripe enough for picking. I'm Organic Gardening - and dont' know how to stop them without the use of chemicals!


Pest Inspection Gold Coast 5 years ago

Great Hub. Ants are really interesting as they have a life and community as similar to humans. No doubt they may takeover the world after Mankind.


HomerMCho profile image

HomerMCho 5 years ago

Fascinating hub, diogenes. I enjoyed reading your hub.


pinappu profile image

pinappu 3 years ago from India

Ants have some kind of social intelligence. They are dumb individually, but are well trained by their community. The whole colony works as a single being with clear divisions of labor. Yes, they can rule the world after us.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Very interesting and thorough as always, Bobby. Fire ants are venomous to me. I'm allergic to them and every time I get bit the reaction is of course worse. Ants sound a lot like humans -- they could take over the world if they would just stop fighting amongst themselves. Imagine what heights humans could rise to if they would just get along and stop comparing everyone to their sin rating graph which they are immune to themselves.

Will share with my followers and pinned too. xx


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Interesting article although ants are not the only creatures that could replace humans octopus and squid could also replace humans if they ever became more intelligent they are actually quite intelligent as they are now. (Ants are like humans they fight amongst themselves) except ants don't know any better humans do that's one of the things that makes humans so illogical they know better but have no will to do so.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Ants are very intelligent, and you could be right. Imagine if they grew bigger with the intelligence they have now increased and venom increased.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks Shyron and Misty and all the others who commented on this hub which I wrote three years ago! For some reason (computer incompetence no doubt) I didn't see the comments before.

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

That's because the last 3 comments were within the last 10 hours. None of us has been on HP for 3 years. If you'd make your other hubs available too, you might be surprised at how many views they would get.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

"None of us has been on HP for 3 years." Eh? Don't underconstumble. You on thet Texas weed agin?

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

I've been here 2 years, Shyron about a year, and Samowhamo a few months. You insinuated the comments we left were 3 years old but none of us has been here that long. What are you smokin'? I don't smoke at all. Don't drink alcohol either.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Shag?

xx

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