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All species show some degree of social organization; many species nest in a system of tunnels, or galleries, in the soil, often under a dome, or hill, of excavated earth, sand, or debris. Mound-building ants may construct hills up to 5 ft (1.5 m) high. Other species nest in cavities in dead wood, in living plant tissue, or in papery nests attached to twigs or rocks; some invade buildings or ships. Colonies range in size from a few dozen to half a million or more individuals. Typically they include three castes: winged, fertile females, or queens; wingless, infertile females, or workers; and winged males. Those ordinarily seen are workers. In some colonies ants of the worker type may become soldiers or members of other specialized castes.
Whenever a generation of queens and males matures it leaves on a mating flight; shortly afterward the males die, and each fecundated queen returns to earth to establish a new colony. The queen then bites off or scrapes off her wings, excavates a chamber, and proceeds to lay eggs for the rest of her life (up to 15 years), fertilizing most of them with stored sperm. Females develop from fertilized and males from unfertilized eggs. The females become queens or workers, depending on the type of nutrition they receive. The first-generation larvae are fed by the queen with her saliva; all develop into workers, which enlarge the nest and care for the queen and the later generations. It is thought that the production of males by the queen and the rearing of new queens by the workers may be controlled by hormonal secretions of all the members of the colony. There are many variations on the basic pattern of new colony formation. In some species the queen cannot establish a colony herself and is adopted by workers of another colony. Slave-making ants raid the nests of other ant species and carry off larvae or pupae to serve as workers; in a few slave-making species the adults cannot feed themselves.
Beneficial and Harmful
See publications of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; E. O. Wilson, Insect Societies (1971) and, with B. Holldobler, The Ants (1990); G. E. Ball, ed., Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and Zoogeography of Beetles and Ants (1985); J. H. Sudd and N. R. Franks, The Behavioural Ecology of Ants (1987); L. Keller and E. Gordon, The Lives of Ants (2009); M. W. Moffett, Adventures among Ants (2010); J. Choe, Secret Lives of Ants (2012).
Ant(1) The primary build tool to automate compiling, testing, packaging and deploying large Java projects. Written in Java and supported by all major Java development environments (IDEs), Ant executes a file of XML-based commands. It was created by James Davidson to automate compilations of the Apache project's Tomcat servlet engine. Ant was later used to build all Apache programs and migrated to the Java community.
Phing is an Ant version for PHP, and NAnt is a version for the .NET framework. MSBuild is a Microsoft build tool that was modeled after Ant. See build and make.
(2) (ANT) (Advanced Network Technology) A wireless protocol for ultra low-power sensor networks from Dynastream Innovations Inc. that operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band over a distance of 50 meters. ANT is widely used in the fitness industry, with Nike being one of the early customers.
ANT and Bluetooth LE
ANT is similar to Bluetooth LE but with lower overhead. Both support peer-to-peer and star topologies, but ANT adds tree, mesh and cluster modes. Using a master-slave architecture, ANT allows complex connections. For example, any node can be a master for one channel and a slave in another.
ANT+ (ANT Plus)
ANT+ adds functionality for specific device profiles such as heart monitors, speed sensors and remote controlled equipment. See Bluetooth LE and fitness tracker.
|ANT+ and Bluetooth LE (Smart)|
|Geared to the active user, Garmin's fenix 5 smartwatch supports both low-power communications; witness this excerpt from the spec sheet. Bluetooth LE is also known as Bluetooth Smart. For more information, visit www.garmin.com.|