Humans are not the only species that have colonized the planet. The modest ant has spread out on every continent – including Antarctica – and has built massive colonies underground. The sizes some of these colonies can achieve are astounding. Fortunately, the average ant colony is a fraction of the size of the colonies listed below.
➢Brazil, South America
An abandoned colony of leafcutter ants was found in Brazil 26 feet below the surface. While no one knows what caused the ants to leave the colony, the ant city was preserved when scientists carefully poured concrete into the tunnels. The colony was about 500 square feet and probably held millions of ants. Because of the size of the colony; it contained paths, highways, and gardens.
➢“California Large” Colony
Argentine Ants (an invasive species that have even been found in Antarctica) are the source for a North American colony scientists refer to as “California Large.” This colony on the California coast covers more than 560 miles.
Argentine ants are often the species involved in supercolonies because they recognize other Argentine ant colonies as being the same species. Instead of attacking each other, the different groups of ants will cooperate to expand their nests, leading to mergers.
Once believed to be the largest ant colony in the world, 45,000 redwood ant nests were connected through tunnels creating a colony covering 670 acres in size. Scientists believe the colony began more than a thousand years ago and contained about 1.1 million queen ants and 306 million worker ants at its height. However, urban development has shrunk the colony to half of its maximum size.
Argentine ants only arrived in Australia sometime in the 1930s. Since then, they have created a supercolony in Melbourne that is 60 miles across. The colony is home to millions of ants.
This group of Argentine ants in Europe took the record for the largest ant colony ever found. In 2002, the Guinness Book of World Records named this the largest ant colony in the world. This colony covers 3,700 miles that range from the Atlantic coast of Spain up to the south of France. According to researchers studying the colony, it contains 33 distinct yet connected ant populations. Within those populations are millions of nests and billions of worker ants.
Imagining how intricate ant colonies are can be difficult for the average person who only sees a small mound of dirt on a sidewalk or driveway. Anthill Art has turned anthills into actual works of art by pouring molten aluminum into a colony. After it cools and hardens, they dig up the sculpture and water blast it to remove dirt. They try to do this to abandoned colonies… but ants have been killed while creating the aluminum sculptures.
Arrow Exterminates Ants
Don’t let ants drive you buggy. If you think you have an ant problem, keep your family safe and prevent it from getting worse by calling Arrow Exterminating to identify the type of ant and eliminate them. To get started, contact Arrow Exterminating today.