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They were scarce in comparison to the populations of other insects, representing only about 1% of the entire insect population.
Most ant species are omnivorous generalists, but a few are specialist feeders.Their ecological dominance is demonstrated by their biomass: ants are estimated to contribute 15–20 % (on average and nearly 25% in the tropics) of terrestrial animal biomass, exceeding that of the vertebrates.Ants vary in colour; most ants are red or black, but a few species are green and some tropical species have a metallic lustre.Sanskrit vamrah, Latin formīca, Greek μύρμηξ mýrmēx, Old Church Slavonic mraviji, Old Irish moirb, Old Norse maurr, Dutch mier.The family Formicidae belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which also includes sawflies, bees, and wasps. Wilson and his colleagues identified the fossil remains of an ant (Sphecomyrma) that lived in the Cretaceous period.
Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings.