Ant Biology

Ants are members of the insect order Hymenoptera, which also includes the bees and wasps. All ants are in the family Formicidae, which is divided into a dozen or so subfamilies. Worker ants are easily recognized by their combination of a constricted waste at the front of their abdomen combined with their lack of wings. The constricted part of the abdomen, or petiole, has one or two nodes. While we usually think of ants as having a sting, many common ants lack a sting; these are in subfamily Formicinae; if you pick up an ant in this subfamily and sniff it, you'll detect the sharp odor of formic acid, which is used as a defensive chemical by these ants.

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