Ant and Related Entomology Terms

(terms restricted to the study of social insects; such as, ants and words that apply generally to entomology)

ertagoid reproductive
a supplementary reproductive termite without a trace of wing buds, usually larval in external form, and with a distinctively rounded head.
exploratory trail
An odor trail laid more or less continuously by the advance workers of a foraging group.

This kind of communication is used regularly by army ants.

extrafloral nectaries
Organs that secrete, often no more than small patches of tissue, which produce sugary secretions, hat possibly contain amino acids, attractive to ants and other insects.

By definition, extrafloaral nectaries are not involved in pollination, although they may occur on the flower outside the perianth or the outer parts of a flower consisting of the calyx and corolla and enclosing the stamens and pistils.

The multiplication of ant colonies by splitting the worker force into two or more groups each of which depart with their own fertile queens.
food bodies
Special nutritive corpuscles evolved by ant plants to feed ants.

Particular kinds of food bodies include Beltian bodies, Müllerian bodies, and pearl bodies.

formicarium, formicary
A nest of ants and which is commonly applied to an ant mound or an artificial nest used in the laboratory to house ants.
A family within the order Hymenoptera, which also includes the bees, wasps, sawflies, ichneumons (wasp-like insects), and similar forms.

The known living ants comprise 11 subfamilies, 297 genera, and approximately 8,800 species.

—Information presented by
The Ants by Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson;
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press;
Cambridge, Massachusetts; 1990; page 4.
functional monogyny
Te condition in which several mated queens coexist, but only one queen ant produces a reproductive brood.

The dominant queen suppresses the fertility of the other queens by behavioral or chemical dominance signals.

fungus cultivation, fungus growers
The growing of a specific fungus by ant and termite colonies for food.

When a new colony is established, a piece of the fungus is often carried to the new nest and used to inoculate a growth medium composed of decaying leaves.

fungus gardens
Fungi that are cultivated by Attine ants (fungus growers) underground and which provide nourishment to larvae and adult ants.
A creature that eats and subsists on grain and seeds.
Feeding on grain and seeds.
grooming, self-grooming
Cleaning the bodies of nest mates of ants (allogrooming) or the individual's own body by licking and, in the case of self-grooming, wiping with the legs.
group effect, social facilitation
An alteration in behavior or physiology within a species brought about by signals that are directed in neither space nor time.

A simple example is social facilitation, in which an activity increases merely from the sight or sound (or other form of stimulation) coming from other individuals engaged in the same activity.

group predation
The hunting and retrieving of living prey by groups of cooperating animals.

A behavior pattern best developed in army ants.

Here are two additional word units that deal directly with "ants": formic- and myrmeco-.

Index of additional Scientific and Technological Topics.

Bibliography of Entomology or Insect Terms (The Ants).