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Insects
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Ants



Ants

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 2 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.31

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    covering, sheds, thorax, abdomen, piles, lays, adult, underground, waves, interesting, leader, there, kinds, eggs, itself, anthill


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Ants
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     There are many, many kinds of ants. Some ants are big. Some are very small. Ants live together in a group called a colony. The queen is the leader of the colony. Ants have two main body segments. They are the thorax and the abdomen.
 
2     Some kinds of ants live under the ground. Some kinds of ants build mounds above the ground. They build their nest in the mound. Some kinds of ants build their colonies in trees. Have you ever seen an anthill? When underground ants dig their tunnels, they must carry the dirt outside. It piles up and makes an anthill.
 
3     Ants hatch from eggs. They have a four stage life cycle. First, the queen of the colony lays many eggs. The egg changes into a larva. It is like a small worm. It has no legs. It has no eyes. As it grows, it molts. This means it sheds its old, small body covering. This is called the exoskeleton. A new, bigger exoskeleton grows so the larva can grow bigger. The larva molts many times as it grows. When the larva gets big enough, it is ready to make a cocoon around itself. It attaches the cocoon to a wall in the ants' tunnels or nest. Inside the cocoon, the larva changes into a pupa. The pupa's body changes into an adult. The last stage is the adult ant. The life cycle stages from egg to adult take about six to ten weeks.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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