Vintage ant illustration from the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The wood ant is a creature who builds their nests on the ground in thatch-like mounds of grass, forest litter or conifer needles. The Queen and males are winged and mate in flight. The lowly male’s only use is to mate with their queen. However, some colonies of Formica rufa can have multiple queens.
These ants generally build their nests together, creating a sort of colony. The largest known colony is in Japan and has around 1 million queens and 306 million worker ants. It’s absolutely huge – 2.7 km². Sounds like something out of a horror movie. If that wasn’t creepy enough, these ants also can shoot formic acid, a stinky colorless liquid, 12 cm into the air as a defense mechanism.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.