Entomology (Study of Bugs)/ants

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Question
ants
ants  
QUESTION: hey,

it's me again. i took a neat picture of some ants. i looked into the bug guide; now i only want to know if i'm right on the species.

here's the link and the picture:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/51071

thanks for your time and knowledge.

-feenie

ANSWER: Hi Feenie
They do resemble carpenter ants but keying ants down to species from a photo is difficult since fine details have to be observed and requires an expert in the Formicidae. You can also tell by their behavior and where they are found. If they are destroying wood in structures you can be sure

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: i don't know if this helps any; but they were on the side walk carrying a huge peace of chicken bone. well huge for them. and yhe were carrying it as a group. if not; it's ok.

-feenie

ANSWER: In that case I doubt that they were carpenter ants

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: i have looked in the bug guide. i can't quite determine them either. not cause of the picture; but because what i think are antlers are really short. and most of the photos on bug guide have long antlers. is their a group of ants that prefer bone and meat instead of wood and leaves? sorry if i'm being too curious. Not like a photo of ants is of much importance. but just wondering.

thanks for your time and knowledge.

-feenie

Answer
Ants have varied appetites. Most are scavengers feeding on dead bugs. Leaf Cutters use tree leaves to grow fungus that they eat. Army Ants are among the most dangerous animals in the jungle. If you were to fall incapacitated in front them they will eat you. there are also warring tribes that attack other colonies and take slaves and kill and eat others. Black ants in houses are sugar eaters and the smaller red ones are grease eaters.
I don't know about those that eat bones.
As I stated before the pictures you took could be carpenter ants but I am not sure

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz

Expertise

I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.

Experience

I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Publications
Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

Education/Credentials
B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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