Biggest Ant Colony

An ant colony is an underground home for the ants. They live, eat and have babies in the colony. The ants’ colonies have many chambers or rooms which are connected with each other by small tunnels. The colonies are also connected to the surface of the earth by these small tunnels too. They have special rooms for different purposes. For example, they have rooms for the newborn ants and also rooms to store their food like a pantry.

The colony is built and maintain by worker ants. They carry tiny bits of dirt in their jaws and then place the dirt near the exit of the colony. This dirt will form an ant-hill. Until the year 2000, the biggest known ant supercolony was on the Ishikari coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Supercolony contains a group of ant nests. The colony has about 360 million worker ants and one million queen ants living in 45000 nests which are interconnected by small tunnels and it covers an area of 2.7km square (670 acres).

Then in the year 2000, an enormous supercolony was discovered. It was called the supercolony of Argentine ants. It was found in Southern Europe. There were about 33 ant populations in that supercolony. 30 belonged to one supercolony with estimated millions of nests and billion of workers. They are scattered around with 3 populations of another supercolony.

In 2009, it was said that the biggest Japanese, Californian and European Argentine ant supercolonies were in fact part of a single global ‘megacolony.’ Isn’t that amazing! There was another ant supercolony which was found in 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. It stretches approximately 100km wide.

 

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