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The majority of ants live on the ground, so they leave pheromone trails on the soil surface that other ants might follow. A forager who finds food leaves a trail that leads back to the colony in species that forage in groups; This trail is followed by additional ants, who then reinforce it when they return to the colony with food.

Ants that return do not leave any new tracks when the food source is exhausted, and the scent gradually fades away. Ants can better adapt to changes in their environment thanks to this behavior. For instance, when an obstacle blocks a forested path to a food source, foragers divert their attention to alternative options.

When an ant succeeds, it returns with a new trail indicating the shortest route. More ants follow successful trails, bolstering superior routes and gradually determining the best one.Ants bite and, in some species, sting to attack and defend themselves, frequently injecting or spraying chemicals.

Although their stings are rarely fatal to humans, bullet ants (Paraponera), which can be found in Central and South America, are regarded as having the most painful stings of any insect. The Schmidt sting pain index gives this sting the highest rating.