Science Why Argentine Ants Are The Most Successful Species On The Planet  

Hugh Landman
10 items

There are plenty of super smart insects in the world, and Argentine ants are definitely one of them. These ants belong to extremely successful ant colonies that span the globe - making them one of the most successful creatures in the world in terms of survival. Their Argentine ant supercolony spans everywhere except Antarctica. 

What makes these ants so incredible? Some amazing Argentine ant facts include how they're able to work together to create their own mega-colony and repel harmful enemies, as well as how adept they are at staying alive. Don't judge these ants by their tiny size, they're some seriously powerful bugs. 

They Build Super Colonies The Size Of Countries

They Build Super Colonies The ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Why Argentine Ants Are The Most Successful Species On The Planet
Photo:  Antweb.org/Wikimedia/CC 3.0

Argentine ants have built vast super colonies in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The members of the Argentine ant supercolony are all related genetically and form the largest insect colonies ever recorded. In California, one colony stretches from the border with Mexico all the way up the coast to San Francisco. The European colony runs along the coast of the Mediterranean for over 3,700 miles. Argentine ants can be found in every country with a mild, Mediterranean climate and are thriving in the countries they invade.

These Ants Work Together To Edge Out Other Ants And Claim Territory

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Photo:  Thmazing/Wikimedia/Public Domain

You don't develop extremely successful ant colonies around the globe without teamwork. Once these mega colony ants expand their colony, they focus on wiping out the local ant species. These ants invade and claim territory because they work together so effectively. Argentine ants have been so effective that in areas they have taken over in California, they have begun threatening other animals like the horned lizards.

Humans Are Helpless To Defeat Them And Are Trying To Weaponize Ant Body Odor

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Photo:  Antweb.org/Wikimedia/CC 3.0

Given that they are such successful invaders, it is no surprise scientists have experimented on the pests to find ways to kill them. Researchers believe they can change the chemical composition on the ants' bodies to use their aggressiveness against them. Scientists think that by doing so, the ants will not be able to identify each other and will confuse their own with another species and attack when they otherwise wouldn't.

Argentine Ants Farm

One of the most amazing things about Argentine ants is that they have a varied diet consisting of other insects and sugar, which they farm. Since they can't produce sugar themselves, they use a pseudo agricultural technique to obtain it. Aphids produce honeydew and are found in the same habitats as the ants. In order to get some of the honeydew, Argentine ants tend to the insects, and in return the aphids let the ants harvest it from them.