Ant is the common name given to insects that make up the ants (Formicidae) family, that are included in the membrane-winged (Hymenoptera) team together with wasps and bees, and that show a social life. Ants originated from animals resembling wasps between 110 and 130 million years ago, in the mid-Cretaceous Period, and diversified after the emergence of flowering plants. Today, more than 12,000 species have been classified and it is thought that there are around 14,000 species. They are easily recognized by their cantilevered antennae and knotty structures forming their thin waists.
Ants live in communities ranging from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural spaces to highly organized colonies that cover very large territories and contain millions of individuals. Large colonies are mostly made up of sterile females forming the "worker" and "soldier" classes. These colonies also contain fertile males and one or more fertile females called "queens". These colonies are sometimes described as "superorganisms" because the ants work together as one body to support the colony.
Ants are found in almost every piece of land on (Earth). Rare places with distinctive ant species are Antarctica, as well as some remote and inhospitable islands. Ants can live in most ecosystems and make up about 15% to 25% of terrestrial animal biomass. These successes are attributed to their social organization, their ability to change their living spaces, to benefit from resources and to defend themselves. During their long evolutionary process with other species, they have developed interspecies relationships including similarity, communalism, parasitism and mutualism.