The fire ant is a wingless associate of the order Hymenoptera. The structure of Fire ants is distinct and you can easily identify them once you are well familiar with the morphology of fire ants. Like other insects, the red ants have an exoskeleton, which is an external protective covering around the body.
The body of fire ants is divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. They have three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. They have two bulges between the thorax and abdomen - pedicel and postpediole. The fire ants structure can be distinguished from other ants because of their copper brown head and body, with a darker abdomen.
While studying the anatomy of fire ants, let us take a look at the worker. The worker ants are blackish to reddish in color. Their size can vary from 2mm to 6 mm. All these different sizes of the worker red ants live in the same nest. They have ten antennal segments which terminate in a two-segmented club.
Quite often, it becomes a little difficult to distinguish between the structure of Fire ants of different species, for example, Solenopsis invicta and some other species in the genus. Solenopsis sp. ants can be recognized with three body features - a pedicel with two nodes, an unarmed propodium, and antennae with 10 segments and a two segmented club. The morphology of black imported fire ant is not consistent with the number of characters used to study the morphology of fire ants. Hybrids between the two species even make the things more complex.
It is only by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) that positive identifications of the red ants can be made and to mark the differences in the cuticular hydrocarbons.
We hope you found the above article on the structure of Fire ants informative.
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