|Ants - Lasius alienis|
Order Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies
Bees & Wasps Index | Parasitica | Aculeata | Symphyta
Live ants photographed at DuPage County, Illinois, USA. Size: 3-4mm
Ants are distinguished from other insects by the combination of elbowed antennae, a strongly constricted second abdominal segment forming a distinct node-like petiole, a wingless worker caste, and the presence of a metapleural gland. They can sense with organs located on the antennae, which can detect pheromones (single compounds) and hydrocarbons on the outer layer of the body (a set of different compounds). The latter is highly important for the recognition of nestmates from non-nestmates.
Hymenoptera (Latin for membrane wing) is a vast assemblage of insects second only to Coleoptera (beetles) in the number of described species. Hymenoptera number some 115,000 species - of which 18,000 live in North America. Hymenopterans inhabit a wide variety of habitats, and show an incredible diversity in size, behavior, structure and color.
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