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About red forest and domestic ants, as well as their differences

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Ginger forest ant (left) and ginger home (right) are significantly different from each other.

Redhead ants settling in homes and red forest ant are two completely different types of ants. They differ from each other not only in size and appearance, but also in their biology: the red ant living in the forest is known for its outstanding building abilities and activities for the destruction of forest parasites, while the domestic red ants evolutionarily have grown to the unicoloniality of their nest, which ensures their highest survival rate and active distribution in seemingly inconvenient areas for them.

Representatives of these two species are easiest to distinguish in size: if red forest ants have sizes from 4 to 9 mm, then the domestic red ant hardly reaches 3 mm. Therefore, if there are small red ants in the house that can barely see the paws, they are definitely pests, and not occasional guests from the forest.

Red forest ants are quite large.

But the red domestic ant is difficult to see even close

On a note

In size can only be confused home ant's uterus with a forest worker.But in general, the ant queen of both domestic and forest red ants always has a more characteristic body shape with an enlarged breast, and its color differs from that of a forest sibling.

These two species are well distinguished by their coloring: brown house ants are completely brown with two thin bright transverse stripes on the abdomen. These strips are especially noticeable in the uterus.

The red-haired forest ant has only a red chest and the bottom of the head: the back of the head and all of its belly are black. The photo shows a working ant of this species:

The forest ant has only the chest and the bottom of the head red, but its belly is almost black.

By the way

Not less clearly small red ants differ in nature: if the defender of the forest is quite capable of painfully biting a person, then the domestic pharaoh ants don't bite at all.

But even more, these two species differ from each other in their biology ...


Red forest ant: features of biology, food, photos

The red-haired forest ant is one of the most characteristic ants of the forest zone of Russia in general. It has a slender body, usual for ants, a red, almost red-colored chest and lower part of the head, a black abdomen and nape, and also two shiny velvety dressings on the abdomen.

The womb of the red forest ant has the same color as the working individual, but is larger in size - up to one and a half centimeters.

It is interesting

In the very abdomen of each ant there is iron containing a large amount of formic acid. An insect can spray this acid a few centimeters around it.

Above all, red forest ants are famous for arranging huge, up to 2 meters high, ant hills. Such heaps are formed from the ground and food debris that insects carry outside, by equipping their underground chambers. When a heap reaches a certain size - such that it starts to maintain the necessary microclimate - the chambers for storing food and larvae begin to organize in the heap itself.

Anthills in forest ants are quite tall.

Forest ants eat approximately equal amounts of other insects (mainly larvae eat them) and products of plant origin (these products are consumed by adult ants). The majority of insects eaten by ants are forest pests: according to scientists, more than 21 thousand larvae and pupae, eating leaves, flowers and wood of various forest plants, are taken to a large anthill in one day. One medium-sized ant colony protects about 1 hectare of forest from pests.

It is interesting

In a large anthill can live up to 500,000 workers ants.

A significant part of the diet of ants and make a sweet selection of aphids, the so-called pad.

Forest Muravi love to enjoy the sweet fall released by aphids

Forest ant guards its herd of aphids

Red forest ants have common-law partners and parasites. For example, in their anthills live lomekhuza beetles, emit a sweet secret and capable even to eat the brood of ants with impunity. Also in the anthill are stafilin beetles, feeding on the remains of the table of ants and even smaller ants. And the parasites of these ants are some types of ticks and horsemen.

In the photo - the red ant attacks the caterpillar.

Red-haired forest ant fearlessly struggling with a caterpillar

Red forest ants are distributed almost throughout the forest zone of Eurasia. In Siberia, they are collected, dried and prepared from them alcohol tincture, which treat diseases of the joints and neuralgia. Partly because of this, partly because of the destruction of the anthills themselves, this species is becoming rare in some regions and is now under protection.


Uterus of red forest ants and features of their reproduction

Reproduction of red forest ants is a separate story. The womb of red ants is not able to create a new colony on their own, and after the flight, which occurs mainly in mid-July, the young females necessarily return to the anthill of their own species.

On the photo - the womb of red forest ants close up

There they live, or until the old uterus dies, and replace it, or until the number of the colony becomes too high and the colony does not have to be divided to form a layer. At the head of such a layer and becomes a young fertilized uterus.

It is interesting

It is because of this specific breeding method that forest ants very slowly and with difficulty migrate to new places. If for the introduction of another species, it is enough to bring a hundred or two uteri caught after the summer into a new area, the colony of red forest dwellers needs to be nested to a more or less independent state and only then transported to a new place.

In the photo - the womb of red ants:

Usually in the anthill of red ants only one queen

In general, polygynye is almost never found in red forest ants: only one queen reproduces in their anthill.

It is interesting

Studying how red ants breed, scientists found that sometimes a fertilized uterus can penetrate an anthill of a related species in which, for one reason or another, the native queen perished. Ants take a new uterus, and during the year the population of the anthill is completely replaced: new ants of a different type replace the workers who die of old age or perish when searching for food.
Another interesting detail of the breeding of this species is the fact that in one year only males or females can fly out of one anthill. This separation prevents the crossing of ants from one colony.


Home ant red: a malicious pest of kitchens

Red ants at home are completely different insects. They are also called Pharaoh ants, as they were first discovered during excavations of the Egyptian pyramids, but their true homeland is India.

The redhead ant is a real pest in the kitchen

Under the conditions of Russia, they are not able to exist outside of warmed human premises, and therefore they are settled only in apartments, residential houses and enterprises. The small red ants at home do not differ in any creative activity, and they settle in various crevices, spaces behind furniture, carpets and baseboards.

Small red ants in the kitchen and in other rooms feed on any organic waste - crumbs, left open food, covered with debris in a secluded place.

In the photo - domestic red ants on the food trail:

Home ants in search of food

They do not disdain almost anything and therefore feel quite comfortable in almost any room.


The colony of pharaoh ants

The colony of red domestic ants differs from the colony of forest so that in it several queens can simultaneously exist and multiply. Moreover, domestic red ants constantly actively create daughter nests - in the kitchen, in the storerooms, in the parade ones - having close ties with the main colony, but independently feeding and increasing their numbers. If one such nest dies, the whole colony remains unscathed. That is why the pharaoh ants are so hard to get out of the room.

Red uterus domestic ants (in the photo - on the right) lives 4-5 years, it is larger than working individuals and has a characteristic color:

The uterus in domestic red ants (pharaohs) is noticeably larger than the working individuals

It is interesting to note that in spite of the most important function for the colony, the queen of the red domestic ant is not at all the “queen” - the working ants calmly kill the queen that stops working or change them between anthills.

In general, if red ants are bred at home, it is worth preparing for a complex and very long struggle - in most cases it will not work to bring them out in a day or two. But if you know what the red ants are afraid of, you can easily get rid of them by systematic use of the necessary means.


What are red ants afraid of?

These natural poisons for ginger ants are:

  • borax and boric acid
  • corn flour
  • raw yeast, especially beer
  • vinegar
  • vegetable oil.

Vinegar is a real poison for domestic red ants.

There are substances whose odors scare away ants. Among them are kerosene, denatured alcohol, turpentine, ammonia, wormwood, tansy. However, the use of all these means is justified only for the prevention of ants getting into the room.

If insects in the house have already been bred, to combat them, you should use powerful poisonous agents - insecticides. Moreover, most of these modern tools are quite safe for humans.

Anti-anthrave powder is reasonably safe for humans, but effectively helps get rid of domestic ants

But if a red forest ant was accidentally met in the house, you should not destroy it. It is better to gently catch and carry out. There every such small worker will be very useful.


Red-haired forest ants trail branches, stones and insects into an anthill


And this is how red domestic ants look like: in the video, they eat bait with boric acid


There are 1 comments about "About red wood and domestic ants, as well as their differences"
  1. Lyudmila:

    Thank! Very interesting!

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