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Tag Archive for "Ant Behaviors and Abilities"

Journey to the Land of the Ants

Monday August 27, 2012
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Journey to the Land of the Ants

Ants as Ecosystem Engineers

I know it’s hard to believe that ants are significant creatures, especially when they march across your kitchen counter, but they really are important to the environment (as in outside!).   Ants are like mini engineers, constructing tunnels that aerate the soil.  They recycle dead plants and animals, enrich the soil with the food they bring down into the tunnels, spread seeds, and are a major source of food for lizards and other animals, not to mention, ants are exterminators of termites.

The ants go marching one by one, hurray, hurray! The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! hurrah!…

Remember ant farming as a kid? Read more

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The Dominance of Ants

Friday July 27, 2012
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Invasive Ant Species

The most common ant around the house and garden is the Argentine Ant, an invasive species from (yes you guessed right)…. Argentina. In the late 1890´s, coffee ships from South America brought stow-a-way ants inside their cargo into the port of New Orleans. Favoring California´s mediterranean environment, Argentine ants have made their home here, and like others “from afar,” have decided to stay.

Ant tending an aphid

Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) tending an aphid.

The Argentine Ant isn´t the only ant that traveled from South America into the states, it´s cousin, the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta), has also invaded our shores. Read more

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Ants in the Summer

Tuesday July 3, 2012
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“The ants are coming, the ants are coming!”

Ants can be very frustrating when they make their way into your home, or come in as uninvited guests to a family picnic but did you know that ants are beneficial to humans and also for the environment? Plus, from a philosophical view, we as humans would do well to learn from the habits of ants.

Argentine Ants Linepithema humile – Argentine Ants

Comradeship & Loyalty Among Ants

Ants take care of their own; if another ant has a fungus, the healthy ants will groom it until its better and by doing so, the healthy ants build up their own immune system against whatever ailed their sick friend. Ants are diligent workers, each performing a job without complaint, doing what must be done for benefit the colony; and ants share their provisions, none having more than the other. Read more

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