Ants are black, brown, reddish, or yellowish and live in colonies. They have 6 legs, 2 elbowed antennae, and a constricted waist. Unlike wasps, the constriction includes the first few segments of the abdomen, the second of which has a raised node called a petiole (that term is also used for the stem of a leaf). The rest of the abdomen (the rounded hind part) is called the gaster. Ants have compound eyes and two powerful jaws (mandibles), which serve them just as hands serve humans.
Within each colony are several different types of ants (castes), each with a different job. Most of the ants we see are workers. Sometimes we see males and queens, which have wings for their mating flights.
Eggs, small grublike larvae, and pupae are often seen beneath upturned stones and other places where a colony is torn asunder.
Similar insects: Velvet ants, other wingless wasps, and termites do not have elbowed antennae. Termites also do not have a constricted waist.