Many people do not know the term used to call a group of ants because they are unaware of particular species and the purpose of forming a group.
What is a Group of Ants Called? A group of ants is called a swarm, colony, or army when a large number of insects are moving or living collectively. You can find these insects in a cluster because they prefer to live in colonies.
Ants form long rows and converge on a food source in large numbers, as they usually live in colonies and perform collective activities.
What do you call a group of ants?
You can see a large number of ants navigating in the house and outdoor areas, as these social insects like to live together.
They live in a colony where all the members of different castes spend their lives together. The colony comprises males, females, and newborn larvae.
Foragers, nursing ants, soldiers, and reproductive queens are female members of a colony that lives in the same place, as it is their natural behavior to live with the mother queen.
Foragers go out of their nest to collect food and get back there, while nursing members take care of the larvae and queen and usually remain within the colony.
In addition, soldiers or an army of the colony are also part of the group and stay at the entry point of the nest to protect the territory from the attack of predators and other enemies.
A cluster of insects indicates flying ants when going to mate and raise their population. It can also relate to the army when colony members are heading forward for war with their enemy.
Every group contains many army ants born to participate in the battles for survival, as they are usually bigger than other workers and possess larger heads.
Most commonly, the whole colony appears as a cluster when you see a nest, in addition to workers getting out of the nest to collect food or fight for survival.
How many ants form a group?
The number of ants in a group differs in each colony as a type of species, and the purpose of its formation determines the colony’s size.
Some species prefer to build smaller colonies based on a few hundred members, while a few like to make supercolonies having millions of members.
Moreover, the carpenter and Argentinian colonies contain 40,000 to 60,000 and 10,000 to 10,00,000 members forming a supercolony.
Pharaoh ants form a small colony with only a few hundred to thousand members, but the winged queens are more in number.
The average size of a fire ant colony is almost 0.1 to 0.5 million, while bullet ants have smaller colonies as they only have a few hundred members.
The argentine species form a larger cluster among all and spread to a wide area of their territory. However, the average size of a group is almost 15,000 to 1 million, depending on the species.
The number of insects in an army ranges between 145,000 to 2 million that perform the role of protector and take care of other members.
Furthermore, alates form smaller clusters than foragers when they come out to get food, or the whole colony migrates to a new place.
Why do ants form groups?
There are different reasons for ants to form groups, depending on their requirements. They have to forage for food collectively, as a single insect can get lost without any chemical signal.
They cannot remain alive after getting lost; that’s why they prefer to remain in the form of groups and send a signal to the following insects to come behind the preceding fellows.
Moreover, they can also help each other in hauling a heavy food particle to reach the nest as these smaller insects have less surface area to load the particle on their backs.
They can also fight with their enemies better than only one insect, as all of them can grab the predator’s body from different body parts.
Furthermore, these insects have natural behavior to perform activities collectively and live together. Therefore, the queen builds a new colony where all of its members remain connected to each other.
They all depend on each other due to the division of labor, where every caste performs a distinct role to ensure their survival.
What is a line of ants called?
Ants move in a straight line and look like an army when they are marching and heading toward a destination that can be a food source.
They form a straight line because they follow chemical cues left by those moving in front of them.
These marching insects form long lines from the nest to the destination source.
Foragers are known to form pheromone trails to avoid the risk of getting lost, and they can quickly reach food and return to the nest.
Moreover, this line can be a migrating colony when they move to a new location due to a lack of food and water resources in the older one.
Furthermore, coordinated activities are helpful for the survival of these insects as they become stronger when swarming in large numbers.
What is a group of flying ants called?
The winged members of the ants’ colony rarely leave their nests and prefer to remain inside the mound until conditions become favorable for their exit.
They come out of the nest only during early summers when the environmental conditions are suitable, as they need mild temperatures and slightly humid conditions for flight.
Moreover, the alates engage in a mating flight during spring and early summer and return to the ground when the spermathecal of the queen gets filled.
All winged members of the colony appear on the sidewalks, patios, or other areas of the house in the form of a cluster, and the term used for the group of alates is ‘swarm.’
You can differentiate a swarm of alates from a colony by looking at their wings, constricted waists, and elbowed antennae.
Queens begin to produce fertilized eggs when the external conditions are ideal, and workers raise the winged males and females to increase their population.
The swarm of these insects indicates that they are interested in a nuptial flight and are forced to leave their nest by the workers.
Accordingly, these newly mated queens reach the ground and establish new colonies. Then, they feed larvae until the first generation of workers gets mature to take control of nest activities.