Sanitation workers of the forest
Ants are called forest sanitarians. They collect up to 80 % of dead invertebrates.
A large colony of wood ants can hunt up to 100 000 invertebrates per day, thus affecting their numbers. Ants therefore play an important role in controlling forest pests.
Five ant species are included on the list of the 100 most dangerous invasive animal species; none of the five are found in Latvia.
Local animal and plant diversity is declining around giant colonies of the Argentine Ant Linepithema humile.
The Yellow Crazy Ant Anoplolepis gracilipes has a negative impact on the population of Christmas Island red crabs Gecarcoidea natalis.
There are species of insects and spiders that look like ants. This allows them to avoid attacks by ants and other animals. This type of mimicry is called myrmecomorphy.
Plant Bug Myrmecoris gracilis.
Most cordyceps fungi are parasitic. In the tropics, there are some species that are parasites of certain ant species. The spores that have entered the body of an ant start to develop spawn in the body of the ant. It changes the ant’s behaviour – makes it crawl up the plant and cling to the plant with the mandibles. The ant then dies and the fruiting body of the fungus grows out of it, sending out spores.
Ophiocordyceps entomorrhiza is a parasite of the Ground Beetle Carabus hortensis.