Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

Sitio realizado por aficionados a la observación de aves desde 10 de enero 2006

Ants - Family Formicidae

Order Hymenoptera
Family Formicidae
Ants along with bees and wasps comprise the Order Hymenoptera. There is only one family, Formicidae, which encompass all the species of ants. All of them are very alike morphologically speaking. They are social and live in numerous colonies. They communicate with each other through chemical substances and also olfactory and tactile signals.
The nest if ormed with queens, males and a great number of workers. Only males and females are apterous and at the beginning of spring they abandon the nest to take part in the nuptial flight. Males and females mate, after which males die.
19-10-19 © Milena LLopis
Two swarms
Two swarms
Characteristics of bee and ant swarms
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The nests can be underground with one or more accesses and a complex network of galleries. Or they can be mounds with internal galleries as well. Carpenter ants prefer to install them in trees.
17-05-15 © J. Simón Tagtachian
Carpenter ant
04-03-12 © Roberto Ares

Carpenter ant building a nest in the tree

Ants can be carnivores and may hunt animals bigger than they themselves. They can also be herbivores like those which collect seeds, grind then and mix them with saliva to prepare a bread mass, the food of the colony. The leaf cutters cultivate mushrooms from the processed vegetal material. Others depend exclusively on the honeydew from aphids with which they keep a simbiotic relationship: honeydew in exchange of protection.
18-03-21 © Gustavo F. Brahamian
Leafcutter ant
07-05-16 © Gustavo F. Brahamian
03-12-15 © Gustavo F. Brahamian
25-03-11 © Roberto Ares

Burying a pill bug 

Predated by
Bran-colored Flycatcher
02-11-13 © J. Simón Tagtachian
Bran-coloured flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus
Creamy-bellied Thrush
25-11-18 © Carlos González Ledo
Creamy-bellied thrush Turdus amaurochalinus
26-02-16 © Roberto Ares
Chalk-browed mockingbird Mimus saturninus