Ant "How" - Answering the "How" about ants
There are a couple of ways to answer this question. For example, are we asking how much one ant will eat in a single day, or are we asking how much an entire colony eats in a day? There is also a difference between how much they eat and how much they take back to their nest. So we will answer both quesitons.
There are multiple ways to answer this question, because this question can mean many different things. For example, the quesiton could mean how big is the physical size of the colony itself, i.e. the area that the ant tunnels cover. Another possibility is how many actual ants live in the nest itself? Or what is the average size or what's the biggest? Since I do not know which question you are asking, I will answer all of them.
An often cited reference is that an ant can carry up to 20 times it's own weight. While it's true that an ant can carry 20 times it's own body weight, it can also carry much more than that. The average ant can actually carry up to 50 times it's body weight, and some ants can lift an incredible 100 times their body weight!
The short answer:
The 2 millimeter ants in our video can run approximately 3 inches per second, or 900 feet per hour. Keep in mind that the ants in this video are rather quick (even for ants) and do not necessarily represent all ant species. In our observations, most ants are a little slower than this. 2 inches per second is a closer approximation of the average ant's speed.