Ants are small, six legged insects that usually live in a complex social colony. They can be found all over the world. There are more than 700 ant species found in the United States alone. Of those seven hundred species approximately twenty-five infest homes.
The ant’s body is made of three distinct sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Ants, like other insects, have an exoskeleton which means that their skeleton is on the outside and is not covered by skin, muscles, and tissue like humans.
The ant’s head has several important parts. Ant eyes are similar to flies’ eyes. They have many small eyes connected together which enables them to see movement very well. An ant’s head also contains two feelers. The feelers help ants communicate. Ants communicate by releasing pheromones (chemicals that have different smells). Other ants use feelers to pick up these smells as signals. Lastly, the head has two strong pinchers which are used to dig, carry food, and help the ant defend itself.
An ant’s thorax is the part of the body where all six legs are attached. At the end of each leg is a sharp claw that helps the ant climb and hang onto objects. Lastly, the abdomen is the part of the ant’s body that contains the poison sack. Ants are related to wasps; some types of ants have stingers that can inflict a very painful sting.