Castes of ants
There are generally four castes. They are formed like this and have the folllowing duties:
- Worker:This the most numerous and functional caste in the ant's family. Workers hatch from fertilized eggs, which have received normal food, whose larvae have grown near the queen (this is probably due to a hormone secreted by the queen, which makes the workers feed the larvae with normal food). By some species this depends on the size of the eggs, as well as on the time of the year, they were hatched through. Depending on their age and size, workers have different jobs. Young ants' jobs are deep inside the nest. As they get older the place they work gets closer to the surface. The oldest ants work outside the nest. The point of this is that a young unexperienced ant could not survive in the dangerous world outside the anthill. Furthermore, an old ant, whose life is coming to its end is not as valuable as this of a young ant. This is how ants keep their number.
- Queen:The queen is the main figure in the ants' society. She can get up to 25 years old. Her life begins as a princess. She gets born out of fertilized eggs, brought up far from the queen, whose larvae were fed on special food, produced by a special gland of the workers. By some species this depends on the time of the year and the size of the egg. The princess (unfertilized qieen) is a winged ant, by most species considerably larger than workers and males (drones). The princess' head compared to the thorax is much bigger than by the male. The queen is the one who begins the colony and who lays all the eggs in the colony.
- Drone:The drones are the male ants in the colony. They are usually even smaller than the workers. Their head and mandibles (ant's jaws) are small. One can see their genitals with the nacked eye. Their complex eyes are larger than these of workers or females. Their behaiviour is inadequate. They hatch from infertilized eggs, which can be laid in special cases by workers. This happens when the queen is dead in order to keep the colony's genes. In the nest drones do not do any work at all. They even can not feed on their own, but workers feed them. The only aim in a drone's life is to fertilize a princess. After that they die.
- Soldier:Soldiers are workers with huge heads and mandibles. Their function is to defend the nest, as well as take part in attacks against other colonies or different prey animals. By some species which feed on seeds soldiers are responsible for braking the hard cover of a seed, so that other ants can eat it.
Note:Not all species of ants can produce soldiers.