ant fact archive

Anne Schwalbe, Sonnenhut I, 2014

Anne Schwalbe

Sonnenhut I
24×30 cm, edition of 20
courtesy of the artist

Many ant species forage for seeds, which in turn affects the abundance and spread of plants.17 When a forest is cleared, ant communities get displaced, disrupting the ecosystem and changing the makeup of the undergrowth for decades.18

  • Some plants have evolved elaiosomes—fleshy, nutritious bits on their seeds—to attract Harvesting Ants. The ants feed these to their larvae and discard the actual seeds in a designated waste area, where they can germinate and grow into new flowers.
  • Pennisi, 2020