The name came from the Greek words humen and pteron, meaning membrane and wing. Holometabolous insects. They have egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages. They are one of the five megadiverse insect orders they are cosmopolitan ,but most species occure in tropics they include phytophagous,parasitoid, and predatory taxa, both solitary and highly social species. They range in size from large to very tiny ones. They have to pair of membraneous wings.fore wings are larger than hind wings. The ovipositor is used not only for laying eggs, it is also used to pass venom and/or other secretions to the place of oviposition. all have a haplodiploid sex determination system. Prothorax is reduced in size forming a narrow band between the head and mesothorax.
all ants are eusocial,except a few species which secondarily lost thier worker caste. Ants have diverse systems of communication, but by far the most important medium for signaling involves the chemicals known as pheromones. the nest is covered with nopal, dried grass, and fresh weeds to maintain an environment suitable for survival and regrowth of the colony Polymorphism in ants is accompanied by polyethism Winged individuals are called alates Workers are called repletes, store the honey in the abdomen Not all ants are predatory. Some ants harvest grain and seeds and others feed on insect-produced honeydew. Antennae is geniculate. Chewing mouthpart.
Reddish brown ants are well known for their aggressiveness and stings that are used for defence. They have alkaloidal venoms that produce a burning sensation. Nests are polygyne (multiple queen) Insect venoms are effective specialized allomones typically consisting of watersoluble proteins and other components that are injected into the body of an assailant. Honeydew accounts as a sole food for them.
Eggs are white. They are either fertilized or unfertilized. Fertilized eggs produce potential queens and workers Unfertilized eggs produce male..
The larval stage is composed of four instar. Is apodous and resemble maggot. Only the fourth instar can digest solids directly, and it is the only path for processing of solid food particles in the colony The head is only weakly sclerotized or much reduced .
Pupae are adecticous and exarate without coccon.
Adult of fire ants have two castes: -Reproductive caste -Worker caste
They are winged and fertile. Consist of both sexes ;male and female (queen).
Males are haploid. having only a single set of chromosomes. Males produce genetically homogeneous sperm.
Queen is diploid. They can lay both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. They loose their wings after mating. They are about 7 mm long in size.
The workers range in size from small to large from about 2–5 mm in length. Fire ant workers can feed only on liquids: they have filters in their digestive tract that prevent the ingestion of solids. have reduced ovaries and are irreversibly sterile. There are two main worker castes, ‘nurses’ and ‘foragers’ whose members span a wide age-size range. Workers have sting appartus for defence.
Economically:important pests as seed distributors and as seed harvesters, in the turnover of soils, and in the regulation of aphid numbers and the minimization of outbreaks of defoliating insects.
One oddity about fire ants is their evident attraction to electrical fields. They frequently enter electrical boxes such as outside air conditioners, traffic boxes, and lights, where they chew wires and short out the circuits. Fire ants contract their muscles, which makes the raft temporarily less buoyant but traps air better, preventing drowning. They gather up all the eggs in the colony and will make their way up through the underground network of tunnels, and when the flood waters rise above the ground, theyll link up together in these massive rafts.
Distribution:Extremely common and cosmopolitan. Habitat: They build their nests in mounds of soil outdoors, in landscape areas.
Books : Resh, Vincent H. and Carde, Ring T. (2003). Encycloprdia of Insects. 1st ed. Elsevier Science.(USA). 20, 29, 31, 165, 242, 293, 415, 416, 436, 534, 535, 536, 540, 541 pp. Gullan, P.J. and Cranston, P.S. (2005). The Insects.3rd ed. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. USA. 17, 312, 312 pp. Gillott, Cedric .(2005). Entomology. 3rd ed. Springer. Netherlands. 332. Research articles: John T. Mirenda and S. Bradleigh Vinson.(May 1981). Division of labour and specification of castes in the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta buren. Animal Behaviour, 29(2):410-420 Website : http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/pictures/110425- fire-ants-life-rafts-swarms-science- proceedings/?source=link_fb20110425fireantrafts#/fire-ants-form-life- rafts-edge.