(Heb. nemalah). This insect is mentioned twice in the Old Testament: in (Proverbs 6:6; 30:25) In the former of these passages the diligence of this insect is instanced by the wise man as an example worthy of imitation; in the second passage the ant's wisdom is especially alluded to; for these insects "though they be little on the earth, are exceeding wise." (For a long time European commentators and naturalists denied that ants stored up grain for future use, as was asserted in Proverbs but while this is true of most of the 104 European species, two of those species do lay up food, and are called harvesting ants . Like species have been found in Texas and South America, and are known to exist in Palestine. They show many other proofs of their skill. Some of them build wonderful houses; these are often several stories high, sometimes five hundred times the height of the builders, with rooms, corridors, and vaulted roofs supported by pillars. Some species keep a kind of cows; others have a regular army of soldiers; some keep slaves--"No closer imitation of the ways of man could be found in the entire animal economy." (See Encyc. Brit.) McCook's "The Honey Ants" gives many curious facts about the habits of this peculiar kind of ant, and of the harvesting ants of the American plains.--ED.)
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