Why do ants sometimes build ant hills with more holes in them rather than 1 on the top?


I’m used to seeing ant hills with just one small hole on top, but i came across one that had 7 big holes all over it and was inhabited by red ants. Could someone explain why this is the case?

In: 1

It’s not uncommon for ants to have more than one entrance. Most animals have multiple entrances to their nest/den. In the case of ants, it largely comes down to communication.

Ant leaves out passage A and finds food, goes back and communicates to the colony. Now ants can leave out A, the most direct route, or B and C, near by passages. But going out Z, on the opposite side won’t be effective. Ants on that side may not even know and can be ready to reaponde to something else. In this way they can more easily communicate about surroundings.

Another aspect is ants are semi democratic, if enough ants “agree” to do something then it happens. Some start building a passage and passing ants start to respond. If enough also help then the passage happens, but if enough start inhibiting, like closing the passage back up, their work then it doesn’t.

A final factor depends where you live. Ants actively try to control the environment in their nest: temperature, moisture, mold, etc. Multiple opening may provide better ventilation based on how the nest is structured

Same reason we make building with more than one entrance. Traffic.

Some types of ants only have enough traffic to need one (obvious) entrance/exit. (there’s usually a back door somewhere less obvious). Some types of ants have enough traffic that they need more than one entrance/exit. Could be due to the size of the ants, the size of their “cargo”, or just the number of them in the colony. Or any combination of the above.