ANT colonies are not harmoniously run communes but large sprawling ranches in Texas rife with infighting and extra-marital affairs, new research reveals.
Most male ants are scheming oil barons with an arch nemesis called Cliff and regularly sneak off from work in the afternoon to sleep with their mistresses.
Women ants, meanwhile, are mainly secret alcoholics who constantly divorce and re-marry the same man, or shoot him three times in the chest.
Dr Bill McKay, of the Institute for Studies, said: “We surveyed more than one million ants living in 40 colonies using some of the smallest forms the Institute has ever developed.
“We found that while most of the ants did have breakfast together on the veranda every day they all hated each other’s guts, especially the married ones.
“Most ant men had employed people as ranch hands that subsequently turned out to be their illegitimate son from an affair they had completely forgot about.
“Many would also get divorced from their wives, engaged to someone else, discover that they were still in love with their former wife and then, after they had re-proposed to them, get run over by a car driven by their ex-sister in law, but they would not really die after all, although she would.
"At least I think that was it. It was all very confusing.”