Three models of the European Red Wood Ant Formica rufa. The models represent the castes and genders: The female worker and queen, and the male drone. I made the ants for a personal book project about a Wood Ant colony.
The female worker ants are relatively small, wingless and sterile. Nearly all ants in a colony are workers. They do a huge variety of works in the colony. For example: They take care of the queen and the brood, repair and expand the nest or leave the nest to forage for food.
Queen ants resemble large worker ants. Distinctive differences are the lack of long hairs, the voluminous thorax (it contains the flight muscles), the wings and the large glossy abdomen. The main purposes of queen ants are the founding of a new nest and the production of eggs.
Male ants look very different from female ants. Their body is dark, the head is small with large compound eyes, they are winged and the shape of the abdomen is lengthy. The only purpose of the short-living males is the copulation with virgin queens after the nuptial flight.