The Big Red Ants


This article was published in 3rd edition of नवांकुर , the official magazine of Simultala Awasiya Vidyalaya, Bihar, India.

In a bird’s eye view if we see around us, ants are the common and tiniest living entitiy seen by naked eye. One of them are the big red ants, in my view they are unique from others in two ways, first they live on trees and second their anteenas are too long and bent in middle, seems like their fore legs. Their mandible (mouth) seems like eagle’s beak.

As I observed them making and reparing their nests, I concluded that they are very laborious and intellectual. They create their nests by binding two or more leaves (maybe up to 500) together. They stich the leaves using a stinky white substance either excreted by themselves or from trees. This substance is like web of spider. At first builder ants creates an array at the blade of two leaves. Then they make ant-cranes or ant-chain like chain of monomer to form a polymer. They catch the leaves and pull each other to stich. After some time, the parliament of leaves transforms into a leaf-sac called their nest. They also weave translucent cloth like structure to cover remainings of leaf. A nest hangs by a branch of the trees.

A nest is skillfully divided into living rooms, barracks, storehouse, egg room and queen’s room. The eggroom, lies at the center of nest to protect from outer attack until last time. Besides that, lies queen’s room. Living rooms are sequenncly joined with eggroom. There are different rooms for workers, food searchers etc. The partition of the room resembles atom’s electron shell, one upon another. At last barracks are the outermost rooms, just like outermost orbit of electron. The defence system is strongest at the nest’s opening. A nest may size as 2-3 footballs and have 50 to 10000 ants. There may be more openings.

Now about their attacking and protecting skills. A solider is unique from other ants. It is equipped with many attacking and defending skills. Normally they do not attack. They are social insects. If someone attacks, all other ants go inside, and soldiers come out. They spread allover the nest. They are very sensetive and have sharp vision. If any one of them see their enemy the stand on their hind legs, swinging, their forelegs and anteens in their air as scolding someone. Their spit contains formic acid, present at the end of the abdomen below the rectum. If their nest is broken and eggs fall on ground then the ants make a dome, like the dome of Taj mahal to save the eggs till last their breadth. This shows their caring skills.

The most amazing is their discipline. They can easily beat a human in race of discipline. Humans must learn from it. When two ants meet, they touch their anteena to communicate. When they walk in a queue, they seem like twinkling dots and dashes. I want to conclude that All tiny things are not really tiny. It may be as a space having infinite mysteries one has to explore it.


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