Ants nests can take a variety of shapes. Nests can take the form of giant mounds, built structures composed of materials such as honeydew, syrup and wood. Some ant species rely on the work of other ants and invade nests that have already been completed.

Each nest contains its own microclimate that is specific to the conditions required to raise the young and maintain the overall health of the colony.

The nests are typically founded by the queen. Usually, a fertilized queen will scoop out a pile of earth around her and shape a cell that is somewhat wider than her own body. In the end, she creates a basic sort of cave; this cave is often located under a stone or piece of wood.

While the new queen is founding a colony, she lives in isolation. She lays eggs and tends to her young while living off nourishment stored in her body. At times, she eats the eggs she lays to further replenish herself.

After the first generation of worker ants matures, the break the walls of the nest and begin to search for food in the outside world.

Ants communicate with each other using their bodies, in what is typically classified as mimetic language. This type of language is used by numerous other species of insects. Ants may also make sounds by rubbing certain parts of their body together.

Ants and Algorithms

on colony lifecycles