Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ants are everywhere

Ants are everywhere. They are predators, scavenger, and herbivores. They are very social and live in groups with a hierarchy. The colony is ruled by a queen, who is the only fertile female. The other, infertile females, are workers and soldiers. They communicate through pheromones, sounds, and touch and defend themselves by biting or stinging. They are related to wasps and bees. Some, like harvester ants are sold as food for pet horned lizards.

Harvester ants are also sold for ant farms, a fun hobby many children and adults enjoy. Harvester ants have large jaws and will bite. These farms are flat so the ants can be viewed as they go about their daily lives, building tunnels and carrying food. They should be fed a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, birdseed or the white of a boiled egg. Special ant food can be ordered online. An eyedropper works well to deliver just a little bit of water to one area, not so much that any of the ants will drown. It is fun and educational to watch the socialization and teamwork of these enterprising creatures. It would be even more entertaining to watch them breed and raise babies, but queens are not usually offered as pets. For that, you may have to catch one.

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