Life, behavior and function of the forest ants in the ecosystem

The life of an ant colony begins with a young queen going on a wedding flight in spring, accompanied and mated by several male ants. The males also have wings and their only job is to provide the queen with seeds, enough to last until the queen’s life.


After all, the queen of the forest ants can live up to 25 years and is mated only once in a lifetime. They are no longer needed. The young queen now has two options: she returns to her old nest and is accepted by the old queen or she is chased away.  Then the young queen has to form a new state. For this she looks for a suitable place and starts laying eggs. Boost your knowledge about ants click here


The queen decides for herself whether the egg will become a male or a worker. As soon as the first workers have grown up, the construction of a nest begins. There are ants that live in the ground or they build nests in living or dead trees. The horse ant, which occurs in Central Europe, prefers rotten wood, into which it gnaws pronounced nesting chamber systems, or dead trees. Their way of life is similar to that of the red wood ant.

Most ants build mound nests, which have many advantages. An anthill, as a nest is popularly known, can grow up to two meters high and five meters wide. But it is also as deep as it is high. The basis is usually an old tree stump.


The nest of hills is built around and on top of it. An ant colony can consist of several nests that are not too far apart. If they did not recognize their relatives, they would attack and fight each other. A colony can consist of 1,000,000 ants and more that support each other.


The only task of the queen is to produce approx. 300 eggs a day and to weigh which of them will be fertilized and which will not. She alone decides how many workers there are, each of whom is specialized in her area of ​​responsibility. In an ant colony, a strict distinction is made between the “inside staff” and the “field workers”. The office workers include B. the brood keepers.


Your job is to take care of eggs, larvae and pupae. Freshly laid eggs are transported directly to the incubation chamber, which is always at a constant temperature. In order for it to be so, there are the heat carriers who sunbathe outside on the nest. When they have stored enough heat, they run into the interior of the anthill to the breeding chambers, where they stay until they have given off all the stored heat, and then recharge their batteries with solar energy.


This ensures a constant temperature of 26 degrees. The tasks of the “back office” also include building the nest, as well as cleaning and laying out corridors and chambers. If the nest is damaged after heavy rain, a storm or by an enemy, it will be repaired within a very short time. However, this is done in a collective, whereby it does not matter which ant has to fulfill which function. The primary task is to protect and maintain the state. The top nest material in the ants that build hills consists mostly of spruce needles, but also pine needles, bud scales, grass or smaller branches. This material is laid out in such a way that the construction is waterproof.


Every stroller should think about this before destroying the upper layer in ignorance. The security service is also part of the back office. Since there are also hostile ants who would like to get into the “castle”, every worker is sniffed in front of the entrance and only animals that exude the typical nest scent are allowed to pass.


If an ant does not exude the typical scent, it is “expelled”, attacked or killed. It does not matter to the defender whether he is killed himself. Other defenders are summoned via fragrances to help drive away the enemy. An ant alone is very weak, but in a community they are capable of amazing achievements.


This is particularly evident in the field when hunting. Scientists have proven that ants existed as early as the Cretaceous around 130 million years ago, and one has to wonder which creatures survived such an evolutionary period. The secret will be in discipline. The Stone Age people also knew that hunting success only depends on the action of a group. The ants hunters are always out and about in a small army and they have the greatest success in the treetops. Everything that creeps u