The estimate is that 2,739 quadrillion ants die every day. That is how many they are, and death is part of what they have to deal with, even if they have a somewhat long life.
In terms of figures, this is how 2.7 quadrillion looks like: 2,739,000,000,000,000.That is a whole lot of ants, but then they also multiply fast, so this death count is not a big issue as far as their survival is concerned.
Is The Death Rate Of Ants Accurate?
No, it is not, and it never will be. There simply is no way to accurately measure ant numbers in the world.
Ants are spread out everywhere in the world except Antarctica. They live in decaying leaves, but most prefer to live in the soil.
How many species of ants are there?
Currently, there are 12,000 known species of ants. Most of them are black, brown, or red. It is often assumed that the red ones are the most fearsome, as they can cause allergic reactions in human beings.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most dangerous ant is the Bulldog Ant. It is found in Australia, and its scientific name is Myrmecia pyriformis.
When a bulldog ant attacks, it uses both its sting and jaws at the same time. There have been three recorded fatalities from this ant since 1936. The last recorded human death was in 1988.
The bulldog ant is extremely aggressive, and it has a strong venom that can kill a grown human in under 15 minutes.
There are different species of Myrmecia, and each one has different chemical components in its venom. This ant is also diurnal, which means it is active during the day.
Here are some more dangerous ants that one should be cautious about:
- Fire Ant – this ant is notorious for its sting; they have venom, but they are not deadly. Still, they can hurt, and a bite from this can cause puss and swelling.
- Bullet Ant – this ant has the most painful bite. It is called so because its bite feels like a bullet hit. One bite can cause pain that will last for up to 24 hours.
- Florida Harvester – it is a deadly species, and it has venom that is similar to that of a cobra. The venom is fatal to a human being. The good news is that they do not deliberately attack humans. They will only attack if their colony is under siege.
Ants are dangerous creatures, but they are important to the ecology. One must not kill them if it can be avoided.
Read Also: Queen Ant Size: How Big is a Queen Ant?
How Do Ants Reproduce?
Only the queen ant can lay eggs, and it is her duty to lay eggs continuously. Once a queen has mated, she will never mate again. A queen typically lays 800 eggs a day.
The sex of each ant offspring is controlled by the queen. Fertilized eggs are females, and some of them can eventually become a queen in the colony. Unfertilized eggs are males.
Only virgin ants become queens. However, not all colonies have a single queen. Some may have two or more queens.
Curiously enough, the lifespan of an ant queen can reach 30 years. The worker ants, however, can live between one and four years. Some males live less than a week.
So, why does a queen ant live so long? Well, there is a genetic difference between a queen ant and a normal ant.
All worker ants are children of the queen. Some of these children will eventually become queens, but only if they received royal treatment when they were at the pupa stage.
What Is The Lifecycle Of An Ant?
The ant has four phases in its life cycle. These phases are egg, larva, pupa, and then adult.
- Egg – the egg of an ant is a soft and oval one. Of course, it is super small, about the size of a dot on paper. Not all eggs will hatch into an adult. Some eggs serve as food for the other ants.
- Larva – during this stage, the egg has already hatched. In this phase, the egg has no eyes and it has no legs. However, the larva will eat, and larvae rely on the adults to give them a constant supply of nourishment.
- Pupa – this is the final stage for the ant before it becomes an adult. As a pupa, the ant now looks like an ant. It has legs and antennae, but they remain folded or tucked against the ant’s body. In some species, the pupa is wrapped in a cocoon.
From the pupa stage, the ant emerges as an adult. What it means is that they do not go through a “childhood” of some sort.
Despite this, these ants are young adults, and they may have a lighter color compared to adult ones. As they age, their colors will also darken.
All ants that emerge from the pupa stage are full-grown. What it means is that they cannot get any bigger. Their exoskeletons are the culprit here, as exoskeletons prevent them from growing.
Fun Facts About Ants
Here are some fun facts about ants:
- Ants are strong; an ant can carry between 10 and 50 times its weight
- Ants do not have lungs; they breathe through spiracles, which are holes in their bodies
- Ants have two stomachs; they use one for their food intake, and the other one to store food for the colony.
- Ants also farm; they protect aphids from predators. In return, the ants get the honeydew of the aphids
Some people say that ants can swim, but this is not entirely true. Some species can swim and will not drown. However, most will die in the water.
There is no accurate measurement as to how many ants die a day, but the estimate is about threequadrillions per day. Some say that they are ten quadrillion ants at any given moment. The longevity of a worker ant is between one week and four years. Queen ants, however, can live up to 30 years. Only the queens lay eggs, and there are over 12,000 species of ants in the world today.