The way ants find food can always be curious. How can such a small animal eat food?
In general, ants are animals that have a small body size. You will easily find these animals at home.
Ants also like to live in groups. For this reason their way of finding food also really depends on each other.
How do ants find food?
If ants are compared to other types of insects, bee and ant colonies are actually more organized, especially in search of food.
Ants live in a caste system that requires them to perform different tasks to maintain the integrity of their colony. A worker is a genus of ants whose job is to find and feed, look after the queen, and clean the nest.
When the ant colony is in search of food, they come a long way from the nest.
Worker ants have virtually no pattern when they are on the move in search of food sources. Instead, they will find food by walking randomly without any pattern.
They will then release a trail of pheromones or fluid that will help them return to the nest.
After finding a food source, worker ants release more pheromones, which serve as signals. Then, other ants will come out of the nest and start following the pheromone trail to the food source using their antennae.
After that, they will bring the food back to the nest.
Also read: World’s most dangerous ants can kill humans in one bite
How do ants eat?
After that, the way ants find food, they will surely consume the food they find. Ants eat their food in liquid or semi-solid form.
After carrying the food, the ants distribute it throughout the colony via a social stomach that acts as an internal lunchbox in their body.
Once the social stomach is full, all will go back to the nest and slowly feed on the larvae and other ants with their mouths.
The process of eating ants that share liquids or food with other individuals is known as trophylaxis or trophalaxis.
Adult ants will not eat solid food. When he finds a solid piece of food source, he will take it to the nest for further processing.
In general, each type of ant is an omnivorous animal that includes opportunistic eaters. That is, ants eat plants and meat around them.
Each type of ant has a different attraction for food. For example, black house ants are more attracted to sweet foods and meat.
Whereas other types of carpenter ants are more attracted to dead insects and honey in the wild.
Most ants are attracted to at least 3 types of food of the same type, namely:
- sweet food
- foods that contain protein
The way ants forage for food and then consume it is similar across species, despite differing eating preferences.