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Insects of the Rain Forest

ants Imagine that you're walking through a rain forest and decide to sit down to rest. You notice something on your leg. Ants!! They'll soon be crawling all over you…

In Peru, one researcher reported seeing 43 species of ants on a SINGLE TREE.1 A single ant colony can include over 5-million busy ants - soliders and workers (undeveloped females; never have wings; cannot mate), males (can mate with the queen), and the queen. Her majesty is one busy bug, laying up to 100-million eggs a day! She only needs to mate once in her lifetime to be able to produce at least 15 years of eggs.2

“Argentine ants” keep “cows” (plant lice). “Leaf-cutter ants” run 'farms,' raising their own crops. The Mediterranean ant (aphaenogaster barbarus) makes “biscuits” from seeds. “Honey ants” store their food in living “storage tanks.” “Amazon ants” have slaves.3

Ants have a communication “language,” and each colony member has a task, working together to keep the colony fed, safe and healthy.

Even the Bible mentions the wonderful diligence of ants: "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8)

There are thousands of species of ants. They are not evolving; ants have always been ants. Ants from the time of the dinosaurs have been preserved in amber. They are identical to those living today. (Learn more about Creation/Evolution)

Ants love heat; so we find the greatest numbers in types in the tropics. They come in various colors - red, black, brown, red-and-black, or yellow. Some ants squirt a stinky fluid at their enemies. The most dangerous and agressive ants are “army ants” (they're blind), “driver ants” (from Africa), “fire ants” and the various stinging ants. Driver ants have reportedly killed a wounded elephant and stripped its bones clean. Masses of army ants are clever enough to cross rivers.

“Leaf-cutter ants” are fascinating to watch as they cut and carry leaves far bigger than themselves from the tops of tall trees down to their “farms.”

Rain Forests are filled with many other fascinating and sometimes bizarre insects. Check back here to learn more.

Actias Luna (photo copyrighted) Dragonhead grasshopper (photo copyrighted)
Author: Paul and Heather Taylor, Films for Christ


  1. Edward Osborne Wilson, The Diversity of Life (W W Norton & Co).
  2. William Steel Creighton, “Ants,” Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. Fred John Meladu, Why We Believe in Creation, Not in Evolution (Denver, CO: Christian Victory Publishing Co.)
The movie Antz, we have a review. Antz

Insect sounds…

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