Until 2000, the largest known ant supercolony was on the Ishikari coast of Hokkaidō, Japan. The colony was estimated to contain 306 million worker ants and one million queen ants living in 45,000 nests interconnected by underground passages over an area of 2.7 km2 (670 acres).[3] In 2000, an enormous supercolony of Argentine ants was found in Southern Europe (report published in 2002). Of 33 ant populations nested along the 6,004-kilometre (3,731 mi) stretch along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts in Southern Europe, 30 belonged to one supercolony with estimated millions of nests and billions of workers, interspersed with three populations of another supercolony.[4] The researchers[which?] claim that this case of unicoloniality cannot be explained by loss of their genetic diversity due to the genetic bottleneck of the imported ants.[citation needed] In 2009, it was demonstrated that the largest Japanese, Californian and European Argentine ant supercolonies were in fact part of a single global “megacolony”.[5]
Another supercolony, measuring approximately 100 km (62 mi) wide, was found beneath Melbourne, Australia in 2004.[6]
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