Eemocks are eusocial insects o the faimily Formicidae an, alang wi the relatit wasps and bees, belang tae the order Hymenoptera. Eemocks evolved frae wasp-lik auncestors in the Cretaceous period, aboot 140 million years agae, an diversified efter the rise o flouerin plants. Mair nor 12,500 o an estimatit tot o 22,000 speshies hae been clessifee'd.[5][6] They are easily identified by their elbaed antennae an the distinctive node-lik structur that forms thair sclender waists.

Temporal range: 140–0 Ma[1]
Berriasian – Present
Fire ants 01.jpg
A group o fire eemocks.
Scientific classification e
Kinrick: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Cless: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Superfaimily: Formicoidea
Faimily: Formicidae
Latreille, 1809
Teep species
Formica rufa
Cladogram o






















A phylogeny o the extant eemock subfaimilies.[2][3]
*Cerapachyinae is paraphyletic
‡ The previous dorylomorph subfaimilies war synonymized unner Dorylinae bi Brady et al. in 2014[4]

Eemocks form colonies that range in size frae a few dozen predatory individuals leevin in smaw naitural cavities tae heichly organised colonies that mey occupy lairge territories an consist o millions o individuals. Lairger colonies consist o various castes o sterile, weengless females, maist o that are workers (ergates), as werl as sodgers (dinergates) an ither specialised groups.[7][8] Nearly aw eemock colonies an aa hae some fertile males cried "drones" (aner) an ane or mair fertile females cried "queens" (gynes).[8] The colonies are descrived as superorganisms acause the eemocks appear tae operate as a unifee'd entity, collectively wirkin thegither tae support the colony.[9][10]

Eemocks hae colonised awmaist ivery laundmass on Yird. The anly places lackin indigenous eemocks are Antarcticae an a few remote or inhospitable islands. Eemocks thrive in maist ecoseestems an mey form 15–25% o the terrestrial ainimal biomass.[11] Thair success in sae mony environments haes been attributit tae thair social organisation an thair abeelity tae modifee habitats, tap resoorces, an defend themsels. Thair lang co-evolution wi ither species haes led tae meemetic, commensal, parasitic, an mutualistic relationships.[12]

Eemock societies hae diveesion o labour, communication atween individuals, an an abeelity tae solve complex problems.[13] Thir parallels wi human societies hae lang been an inspiration an subject o study. Mony human culturs mak uise o eemocks in cuisine, medication, an reetuals. Some species are vailyie'd in thair role as biological pest control augents.[14] Thair abeelity tae exploit resoorces mey bring eemocks intae conflict wi humans, houiver, as thay can damage craps an invade biggins. Some species, sic as the reid importit fire eemock (Solenopsis invicta), are regairdit as invasive species, establishin themsels in auries whaur thay hae been introduced accidentally.[15]


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