Today we will tell you interesting facts about fire ants.
One of the most dangerous insects is the fire ant. It has a very strong sting and poison, the effects of which are similar to those of a flame burn – this is why it’s called so.
The appearance of fire ants
Fire ants are relatively small insects. Their body length varies from 2 to 6 millimeters, depending on external conditions. Moreover, in one anthill can occur as a 6-millimeter or very tiny ants that get along well. The body consists of three main parts: the head, chest, and abdomen. The body coloration of fire ants is very diverse, from black-red to brown. The abdomen is always darker than the head and chest. Fire ants, like other members of this family, have six incredibly strong and developed legs.
The lifestyle of fire ants
Fire ants, like many other members of the family, build ant-houses where their offspring are born. The diet of this species of ants includes both vegetable and animal food. They mainly eat shoots and young stems of herbaceous plants and small shrubs. Very often they attack insects, larvae, caterpillars, and even amphibians and small mammals.
As a rule, ants gather in a large group to attack the animal, and all together run-up at the victim’s feet on its body. The ants then soak into the skin with their mouths and then introduce a sting that is quietly hidden in their abdomen. Through the stinger, each ant injects a fairly large dose of toxic poison into the victim’s skin. In some cases, the animal dies after a few hours, but if a small amount of poison enters its body, it may not die, but for a long time, the bite marks will burn very badly, causing intolerable pain.
Where do fire ants live?
South American red ants are common in mainland South America but are also common in North America within the United States. The species originated in the territory of modern Brazil and within a few centuries was brought (most likely on ships of travelers and traders) to other parts of the world. A great population of fire ants in Australia, as well as on the islands of New Zealand and Taiwan.
The danger of fire ants
Fire ants are a great danger to humans. Toxic poison of these ants causes very strong painful sensations, which can be compared with thermal burn (which is why the ants are called fire ants). Fire ants quite often attack people to protect their anthills. Once a person gets close to an ant house, as it immediately appears hordes of insects that quickly climb up on their body and ruthlessly sting. According to statistics, every year over thirty people die from fire ants bites.
Fire ants are not afraid of humans or large animals. Very often they arrange their nests in people’s houses, in household appliances, in garbage cans, and so on. No chemicals can make the ants leave their homes, so in South America, villagers and small towns sometimes have to leave their homes and move to another place.
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