The fire ants workers are sterile ants who just work and work. Besides building and repairing the nest, they look after the young. They feed both the young and adult ants and also protect the nests. Let us learn more about fire ants workers in this article. A characteristic feature of fire ant workers is the range of their sizes. Within one nest or colony, the adult worker fire ants can vary in size from 2 to 6 mm. All fire ants workers are actually sterile females and do not live longer than one season, which is two to three months.
The roles and duties of fire ants workers are determined by their age, size and the colony’s requirements. The new young worker ants act as nurses, taking care of the young. They also feed the brood and the queen. As worker fire ants get older, their role shifts to maintaining the colony, looking after the sanitation and defense. This group is generally referred to as reserves. The oldest fire ant workers function as foragers and leave the nest in search for food. They travel through underground tunnels to find new food sources and can travel anywhere from 50 to 100 feet from the nest. These workers will forage in a looping pattern, finding liquids or solids to feed on and die eventually.
Although the duties of worker fire ants differ depending on their age and size, most of their roles overlap. Worker fire ants cannot chew with their mandibles and can only swallow liquids. If they encounter solid foods, they use their mandible to cut the food into small pieces and carry it back to the nest. If they find liquids, they swallow and return to the nest. Once they are in the nest, they, they will share their food by regurgitating. The liquids are then sucked up or licked by the others.
To conclude this article about fire ants workers, what we find is that their job is extremely organized. Every worker fire ant has a job to do and they keep on doing their work without taking any break.
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