Meadow ant. Formica Pratensis) this type of ants refers to the genus of the former, as the Latin name reads. Mediumsized insects and are very common.
In terms of its size, not particularly large, but not a small animal. Meadow ants can reach fifteen millimeters in length, but basically this figure is slightly smaller and rarely exceeds 10-12 mm. In addition, the working individuals reach this size, and those who are responsible for coordination noticeably smaller. The significant difference between this type of insects from the rest, similar, is considered the presence of rather tough hair throughout the body, and they are absent in females. And you can also see that only meadow ants on the front of the chest have a black spot with visible edges. Their antennae have a bend, and the main mustache is always longer than others.
Lifestyle and behavior
Individuals that belong to this type, as a rule, live in large colonies. The family builds a nest that people usually call an anthill, and then lives in it, expanding their possessions and increasing the number of individuals in the family. These ants always have a clear division into three groups: males, females and workers. For the construction of the nest and providing it with food, workers are responsible. Males, in turn, are responsible for guarding and mating with females, and females bear offspring and coordinate workers.
A noteworthy fact is also the territoriality of families, so not a single anthill will never be built near other nests, especially if they belong to birds. After all, it is flying animals that are one of the most important threats to ants, since they are their food.
Where they live
The habitat of this species is very extensive. These insects are distributed on the territory of all forests of the moderate belt of Eurasia, regardless of the country or other conditions. They cannot be found in cold weather or on cold belts, since ants are not able to endure low temperatures. Representatives of the meadow appearance settled in the fields, edges and, of course, meadows, which is immediately evidenced by the name. In terms of their characteristics, they are very similar to the redhaired or small forest ant, but recently this species was listed in the Red Book of the World Nature Union, which was contributed to a sharp decline in the population.
What they eat
The main food for meadow ants are corpses of other insects, as well as a copper pad. But during mating and during the appearance of larvae, they do not disdain the living insects, and then eat them.
Since meadow ants have wings, their propagation method is somewhat different from other species. The appearance of offspring occurs twice a year: in the interval between May and June, and after in August and September. The mass flight of males, which testifies to the marriage, occurs in the early morning of hot days. Families are not very numerous and in them the number of individuals rarely exceeds 50-60 thousand. Females often send males and workers to capture anthills of other species in the wedding season, thereby selecting the territory from them.