The description of Messor structor
The steppe reaper ant is the largest in comparison to other ants, they are the subfamily Myrmicinae
. The color is dark, reddish brown. The length of the working insect varies from 4 to 9 mm, the queen - up to 11-15 mm. The body consists of three parts: head, chest, abdomen, connected by bridges, thanks to which the insects are flexible, mobile. The massive square head of the ant is equipped with jaws, which close like a trap when bitten. It is convenient for transporting food and grinding beans. GOOD TO KNOW: This is interesting: the reaper's fearsome jaws are not an attack tool, but a grain processing device.
Workers have stings that they use for self-defense. Ants are calm and slow. The species is characterized by polymorphism, i.e. the presence of various forms of individuals: females, males, workers, soldiers and transitional forms. Each category of reaper ants carries out its duties.
By examining the question of how long ants live, information was obtained that workers live up to 3-5 years, and the queen - up to 20 years.
The reapers live in families of up to 5,000 individuals.
The aboveground part of the anthill is in the form of an opening surrounded by a shaft of earth and mulch from grains brought in. Underground, the nest looks like a long vertical tunnel with chambers moving on the sides. The family uses the same house for several years. Development conditions
Egg - 2-3 weeks
2 weeks larva (large 2-3)
2-3 weeks doll depends on the size. Imago appears 4-5 days after full pigmentation of the pupa. The appearance of males and females.
Full-fledged females develop when the number of workers reaches about 400-500, and males - from 1000-1500. If females and males have appeared earlier, then they are killed and eaten rather quickly. Habitat
- a resident of steppes, deserts. Its nests can be found in the countries of the Mediterranean coast, in southern and eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. On the territory of Russia in the Republic of Tatarstan, this species is listed in the Red Book due to the threat of extinction. Rojka
Reapers - ants from deserts and steppes. Such a life developed an interesting trait in them. Almost all the ant species we meet grow up in the spring among young males and females, so at the end of spring or summer they can fly away and create new colonies. Effort
The eating habits of reapers have created several transitional forms among working ants. Considerable effort is required to grind cereal grains. As a result, the head of the soldiers is large and they have developed massive occipital muscles responsible for the work of the mandible. The prepared seed pieces are processed by smaller working ants as it requires less effort. Then the grains are turned into flour, moistened with saliva.
In addition, ants also eat animal food: they collect dead insects or organize a collective hunt themselves. However, this type of food is secondary. Breeding
The living conditions left their mark even on the reapers' reproductive functions. Most ants keep mature specimens until the end of spring or early summer. The reapers appear at the end of summer and spend the winter in the nest, breeding in April. This gives them the opportunity to build an anthill under favorable conditions, until the steppe land is dry and the ambient temperature is not too high.
There is only one queen in each ant nest. There may be several in the nesting stage, but then the ants chase away or eat the excess queens. Males die after fertilization of the female.