Silverfish and army ants have a symbiotic relationship, as silverfish will often mask themselves with the ant's chemical scent in order to infiltrate the ants' nests to access food and shelter, although the silverfish do not give back anything in return. Ants possess limited eyesight and cannot see far, so they rely on chemical cues, such as recognizing other members from their colonies. Silverfish will rub themselves on immature ants that are defenseless in order to obtain their scents to trick the entire colony in a process known as chemical mimicry.Continue Reading
Since the silverfish are tagged with the same scents as the ants by rubbing the hydrocarbon compounds onto their body, they are able to successfully avoid ant aggression. Army ants have more than 70 different and distinct hydrocarbon compounds that are present on their cuticles, while silverfish have none.
If the silverfish are isolated from the colony for long periods of time, they will lose the scent and will need to target immature ants again to mask themselves with the scent. Silverfish who are not protected by the ants' scents will become targeted by the entire colony, especially by the worker ants, and will be chased, seized or bitten as a result for attempting to infiltrate the nests. At times, the silverfish may die from the attack.Learn more about Ants
Male ants die after mating with female ants and live no longer than a few weeks, while worker ants can live for anywhere from several months to a year. Queen ants may live for a few years and are responsible for keeping the colony alive through mating with the short lived males ants.Full Answer >
An ant death spiral, also known as an ant mill, occurs when ants get separated from the rest of the foraging party and end up following the scent of the ants in front of them in an endless loop. Eventually, the ants became exhausted and perish.Full Answer >
Army ants eat nearly any small animal or insect in their path. They are group predators that move in waves and eat everything that does not fly or run away. Snakes, spiders, lizards and insects that they encounter are all killed by the horde and consumed.Full Answer >
Army ants are very aggressive and travel in large colonies of up to 2 million individuals. They mostly live in warm, tropical forests in Brazil, Peru and Mexico.Full Answer >