The Ubiquitous Ants


This little creature is found in every country in the world. To many of us, ants are considered home pests. You find them almost everywhere, in tables, cupboards, trash cans, sinks, floors, walls and occasionally on beds. They scrounge for tiny crumbs or morsels of leftover food. They love sugar.




Ants are also found on trees and on the ground. Red ants live in burrows underground. And once disturbed, they pack a painful and itchy sting.

The bigger red ants build their nests on tree tops and they emit a sort of acid droplets when threatened by intruders. We call them “hantik” in the Philippines. And their big mandibles can cause you an unforgettable bite. Ouch!

There are also tree dwelling big black ants that rival the power of their red counterparts.


Small black ants are more of the homely type. They move quickly and seldom bite. In the Philippines, there is a popular saying that once visited by these tiny black ants, you can expect good fortune. You see them form long parallel lines, seemingly communicating with each other and each bearing food which they save for the coming rainy days.

Other species of ants do the same. They live in well organized colonies. Ants have a queen as their monarch, scout ants that search for a food source and worker ants that tirelessly haul food into their hive. Soldier ants are there to protect their queen and the hive at all times. Incredible, isn’t it?

We all should be like the industrious little ant. No wonder ants don’t go hungry. They know where to find food and sustain each member of the colony and store sufficient food for the rainy days . They communicate and work together as a team, each with a specific role to play. They co-exist in harmony and do not fight each other. Neither do they have rich nor poor members in their colony. No matter what their status is in their colony, ants are all treated equally. Ants effectively communicate with one another and work collectively, all for the common good. If only man could live and imitate an ant society, then we will have a world full of peace, harmony and industry, devoid of wars, social disparity, political intrigues and personal indifferences.

I am no entomologist but I remember reading an article that said “ants like man, live in societies or colonies that consist of millions that span up to hundreds of kilometers underground. And ants like man, are patriotic and are ready to die for their queen in defense of their territories”. They are indeed social beings like us, except that they live in a society more sophisticated than man. They have no written laws or economic development plans and yet each member ant contributes their untiring effort for the general welfare of all. They don’t complain about their work, day in day out, until they die. Their underground home consist of several chambers.You have one for the queen, whose only job is to lay eggs for the colony, a nursery for newly born ants, a large food storage area and a recreational area where individual ant families gather. Their being extremely industrious and forever loyal to their queen is the key to their remarkable survival in this earth. “Antmazing” isn’t it?

[Originally published at rated 4/5 Star]


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