Form and Function

Thief ants are exceptionally small compared to the average ant. They can be as small as 0.5 mm (Texas A&M University, 2010).The workers eyes are minor, flat and oval and the mandibles of the workers are four-toothed (Hayes, 1920).  Compared to the worker ants of Solenopsis molesta, the queens are much larger in size. Queen thief ants can grow up to 5 mm long (Texas A&M University, 2010). The queen and male ants develop wings that are composed of hyaline. For the queens once, it has mated the two pairs of wings fall off (McColloch and Hayes, 1916).  When observing a thief ant, one will see a stinger at the end of the abdomen and a 10 segmented antenna on its head. On the Antennae there is a 2 part segmented club. (University of Nebraska, 2013) Another distinguishing feature of the thief ant is its golden yellow body color (Texas A&M University, 2010). They use their small size to their advantage by invading packaged food and stealing its contents. (Texas A&M University, 2010).
    Along with differences in structure, workers, males, and queens also differ in the role that they plan in the community (Hayes, 1920). Worker ants are classified as a female that is undeveloped. Workers live by their name and are the ones that have the most jobs. These jobs include caring for eggs, and constructing the nest (Hayes, 1920). They are responsible for caring for the young up until they become mature. The main responsibilities for the queen, on the other hand, are to reproduce and choose where the colony is going to live (Hayes,1920). Males in the species Solenopsis molesta are larger in size than the workers, and darker in color than the females. They only function that the males serve as in the colony are to mate (Hayes, 1920).
    In regards to habitat thief ants have adapted to living in many different types of environments, besides ones that are directly in the sunlight (Hayes, 1920). Out of all their senses, thief ants rely the most on their sense of smell due to their poor hearing and vision (Hayes, 1920).