Ants are “social insects” and live in communities, just like us. They work together to build their homes and defend their territory, find food, care for the queen and larvae.
Ant society is made of individuals belonging to a caste, defined at the time of birth: queen, workers, soldiers and winged males. In order to have a male the egg must not be fertilized, otherwise a female will born.
The one who commands the colony is the queen, equipped with wings, which are immediately torn off after mating.
Between spring and fall, all males and young ant queens emerge from the ant hills and fly off, forming clouds of flying ants. At the end of the nuptial flight, the fertilized queens form new ant hills while the males die.
The number of ants varies greatly depending on the species: from a few dozen ants to colonies of many millions.
The workers, much smaller than the queens, have important social tasks such as searching for food, feeding the larvae, building and cleaning the anthill, and caring for the queen.
The soldiers, larger and with more developed mandibles than the workers, are in charge of defending the anthill from outsiders; they recognize foreign ants by their smell, enslaving and sometimes killing them.
The anthill can have different structures depending on the habits of the ants who live inside it: there are underground and shallow ant-hills, made of wood or soil and debris. The ant nest has several entrances, all guarded by one or more ants. Many tunnels develop inside the nest; it is a real underground city that can develop as much as 30-40 stories vertically underground.