Offbeat — 12 July 2013


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Why do ants like sugar

We generalize ants as if they all eat the same type of food and inhabit same places. The truth is that there are over 2000 different types of ants and the different species live in different places. Ants are there in the hot desserts and you will find them even in snowy, mountain regions. Their food habits widely differ from each other. Ants are very social insects and they hoard food for future use. They work in groups and hunt for foods over a large region. Often we observe how ants get hold of tiny pieces of sugar and bread. They seem to love anything sweet and sugary. This is mainly because sweet things provide glucose and energy.

Ants have a structured colony with class divisions. The working ants are responsible for finding food and bringing it back for the queen and others at the nest. The most common foods they snack on include biscuits, cereals, sugar cubes or dessert droplets. They also need protein and get it from the dead bodies of other insects, usually bigger in size. There is a particular species of ants which eat sugar as their main food. They are called sugar ants and have a brown-orange body and their heads are black. Ants use their sensors located in the antennae for finding sugar.

Some ants have two stomachs. With one of the stomach they digest food for themselves and store sugary substance in the other stomach. They go back to their parent nest and vomit the stored sugar for the disabled and the queen to eat. But there are also ants who like to cook their meal. They chew the food and make dough and then spit it out for baking in the sun light. Sugar is the best source of energy and that’s why it attracts the ants.

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Written by Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

About Author

Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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