Facts About Ants Nest and Termite Mounds
There are various forms of “cities” of insects. The fertilized queen, and mother of a city, choose a suitable place and hatched larvae from which grow its “servants”, who then raise the city, anthill/nest or termite mound.
Ants live in highly socialized community, although there are several subfamilies within the family with different developmental stages of the community, all the ants are social insects.
At up to five metres tall, termite mounds are made from soil, dung and termite saliva, and can take four to five years to build. Just like ants, termites are social animals and work together to erect these impressive structures. Although a mound appears solid, it’s actually porous, enabling air to circulate throughout to maintain the temperature.
Towers are also built facing north to south to help regulate heat. Air will enter the mound through tiny exterior holes and circulate around the structure, lowering the temperature and providing fresh oxygen to the insects. As the air warms, it will rise and exit the mound via the central chimney.
Fresh air – A termite mound is porous, which enables cool air to enter and circulate the structure.
Internal tunnels and chambers – A network of tunnels connect chambers used for living and farming fungi for food.
Rising heat – As air inside the mound warms, it rises up and exits through the central chimney within the tower
Construction – Ants hollow out a network of tunnels and underground chambers grain by grain using their mandibles (insect mouthpart).
Entry points – There are often a few entry and exit points to an ant nest, ensuring worker ants have quick access.
Expansion – As the colony grows, worker ants will continue to expand the size of the nest. Some can be as deep as 3m (9.8ft).
Living space – Each tunnel connects to various chambers, which can be used to house food, ant eggs and the oversized queen of the colony.
Read alos Ant Behavior Understanding.