Wood ants heat their nests using collective body heat from large groups.
dozens of dark rust and black colored ants are piled on top of each other
Image: Chris Moody / Flickr / CC BY NC ND - Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives

a colony of wood ants gather in the United Kingdom.

“The surface of the nest of wood ants (Formica rufa) has numerous holes which serve as entrances and ventilation holes; at night and in cold weather the ants plug the holes to keep heat in. The workers also keep the slope of the nest at the right angle to obtain maximum amount of solar heat. The ants bring extra warmth into their nests as live heaters by basking in the sun in large numbers and taking the heat energy collected in their bodies into the nest.” (Pallasmaa 1995:35)

Last Updated August 18, 2016