Army Ants (Eciton hamatum)

In the tropical rainforest, ants are everywhere. Ants are the most abundant animals, and their total "biomass," or how much they all weight when put together, is heavier than any other group of animals in the rainforest.

There are many different kinds of ants in a tropical forest. In fact, the famous researcher named E. O. Wilson found over 200 species of ants on a single tree!

The picture to the left is a group of army ants, named because they run around in giant swarms. The picture is of a nest of army ants, called a bivuoac, where they hold each other's bodies and make a nest out of themselves!

Army ants eat other ants and any kinds of insects or arthropods they can find on the forest floor. They are of little danger to humans and other mammals, although the majors (the ones with the big white heads) can bite pretty hard.
 

Copyright 1997-2007 Gerald R. Urquhart. For information on using this website in your classroom (which is free and highly encouraged), please contact Dr. Urquhart by email, urquhar5@msu.edu. Also, please send any comments or corrections to Dr. Urquhart.