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Function of the "Crop"
The crop is an ever changing complex mixture of chemicals secreted by
the larvae and eggs in the colony. Chemicals reach the nervous system,
where they communicate the needs of the ant society. The ant
instinctually reacts to the message, and tries to fulfill the needs of
All ant societies are divided into three castes: queens that found new
colonies and function as egg-laying machines; winged males that take
impregnate the queen and die; runt sterile females that lead that
perform a variety of tasks as nurses, housekeepers, hunters or soldiers.
Founding a Nest.
Young queens take flight to find a male suitor. Once pregnant the queen
builds a nest and lays eggs. She feeds the hatched larvae with her own
stored food. Her strength dwindles, but is free once her daughter ants
begin working for her.
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