Vocabulary - Definitions and Context

Cover Ants - June 2011
elbowed feelers ants use to smell, taste, touch, and communicate
Context: Ants use antennae to touch other ants, tap the ground, and check out pieces of food.
The general word for ant babies no matter what stage they’re in (eggs, larvae, and pupae)
Context: Worker ants take good care of the brood!
a big group of social insects that all live together
Context: Ants can’t survive on their own so they live together in a colony.
to provide messages by touch, vibration, chemicals, or noise
Context: Ants do a lot of communication with their antennae.
Invasive ant species:
types of ants not originally from Texas, but that live here now
Context: Red imported fire ants are an invasive ant species that have done a lot of bad things in Texas!
the stage of an ant’s life immediately after hatching from the egg; more than one "larva" is "larvae"
Context: When an ant is a larva it has no legs!
the ant’s strong jaws that dig, cut, bite and carry objects
Context: Using their mandibles, leafcutting ants can haul pieces of leaves bigger than themselves!
Native ant species:
types of ants that naturally occur in Texas
Context: Red harvester ants are the native ant species eaten by Texas horned lizards, our state reptile.
the third stage in the life of an ant, just before it becomes an adult; more than one "pupa" is "pupae"
Context: When it is a pupa an ant will make a cocoon.
Queen ants:
the female ants that lay all of a colony’s eggs
Context: Queen ants can lay millions of eggs in their lifetimes!
male and female winged ants that leave the nest to start their own colonies
Context: The only ants that have wings are reproductives.
Social stomach:
a special pouch where ants store liquid food used for chemical communication and extra food for nest mates
Context: The social stomach is like an ant’s second stomach.
the middle section of an insect’s body
Context: An ant’s six legs are attached to its thorax.
Worker ants:
female ants that cannot reproduce and have the job of taking care of the queen ant and the brood
Context: All the worker ants in a colony are females.