The Formicidae family includes very social insects that live in groups in anthills.
These habitats are a work of architectural art resembling hyper modern condominiums. Integrated eco-friendly system that allows natural ventilation and air conditioning, without using expensive and polluting energy.
Green, economical, energy-efficient, entrepreneurs and architects should be inspired by these intelligent and sophisticated constructions.
As all ants are different and have their specificity, the forms of anthills in nature are also multiple, ranging from the simplest to the most elaborate. So let’s get into an anthill…
Different types of anthills
Dome anthill: highly visible
- twigs, earth,
- plant debris,
the base of a dome anthill is located on a tree stump or on a sun-oriented trunk to allow the larvae to grow well.
The anthill is a place of community life organized around galleries and underground chambers. There are different pieces such as:
- The dump,
- The store,
- The attic,
- The common room,
- the egg nursery, larvae and nymphs,
which are located in the deepest part of the anthill. Sometimes several domes can be connected to each other. During the winter, the ant colony retreats deep to overwinter and nest maintenance resumes in the spring.
The only downside: their visibility makes them vulnerable to predators. In North America, the Great Fire Ant can build domes that can reach a height of 40 cm.
Anthill in the earth: very common
The galleries and tunnels are dug by the workers who excavate the earth. The tunnels lead to rooms and rooms underground where eggs, larvae and nymphs are stored as well as a room for the Queen Mother ant. These anthills can be found under the slabs and pavers outside, in the gardens.
Mushroom ants: an intelligent crop
Mushroom ants dig a multitude of galleries and turn into real gardeners: they grow mushrooms. The galleries are ventilated and ventilated to provide good conditions for the development of mushroom crops that serve as food.
Anthill in the trees
Some species of ants live in decaying trees or under the soups of houses in old mouldy and unmaintained frames. They make their nests by connecting leaves with silk threads produced by the larvae(Oecophylles).
A hierarchical and monarchical social life
The anthill is called “polymorphism”, i.e. it is divided into different types of castes in which each ant finds its place. There are three different castes:
- and males
Generally, there is only one Queen in a colony and it is the only one that can lay millions of eggs and thus ensure the survival of the colony. We’re talking about monogynia. The Queen is protected by guard ants, females who recognize themselves to their larger size than other ants.
The workers are responsible for the construction of the anthill and its food supply. They are often seen carrying materials on their backs (brindille, wood, leaf, insect…).
The role of the males is to fertilize the princess ants who will then become Queens by creating their own colony or taking their mother’s place after their death. Males mate only once in their lives and die after that.
You should know that an isolated and lonely ant is doomed to certain death. It is the union that is their strength. The notion of individualism, so developed in humans, is totally absent in a colony of ants.