Durant dig nests in mountains. They build their complicated, interconnected tunnels in mazes. Individuals each play different roles in driving Heatmor, their natural predator, away from their colony.
There are over 10,000 species of ants in our poké-less world, which makes a comparative analysis for Durant somewhat problematic. Ants in our world can range between 1 to 52 millimeters, the Queen of the largest species (which is extinct) being over 2 inches long. However, according to the pokedex, Durant is one foot long.
Ant colonies can have one hundred to hundreds of thousands of residents. The smallest ants can build their whole nest inside of a single acorn, with only about 100 ants in the colony. The largest ant colony ever found contains over a billion ants and extends its tunnels for 4,000 miles.
Here are some cool casts to show you what some different ant nests look like:
The ants that made these hills ants are all tiny. Durant is a foot long, so how huge would their colonies have to be? It does say they tunnel in mountains. For the Common Harvester Ant found in America (Durants are native to Unova after all), there are around 4,000 five-millimeter ants in the colony and the tunnels average 5 feet deep. If we interpolate, we know that Durants are 305 millimeters long, 61 times larger than the Common Harvester Ant. We can estimate, then, that a Durant nest would be 61 times larger—or 305 feet deep. From our Kanto evaluation, this as long as some of the routes. Mountains are generally 1,000 feet deep; so it makes sense that Durant makes its home in them.
For a Durant colony of 4,000 ants, the nest is about 305 feet deep, the size of an entire route in Kanto.
The pokedex also tells us that Durants in a colony all play different roles. Ant civilizations are among the most sophisticated of any in the animal kingdom. Ants have unique jobs that they all cater to, and they build nurseries, dumpsters, and some even have their own underground farms to supply for the colony.
Ant colony roles include the Queen, who is the largest ant and is the mother of the whole colony, will live as long as 30 years. However, the queen is not so much a leader as she is a mother: the queen’s only purpose is to reproduce. All worker and soldier ants are females, because the male ants only live for a few weeks and only reproduce with the queen.
The worker ants will spend their whole 1-3 year lives gathering, feeding, cleaning, and otherwise taking care of the queen ant. Depending on the kind of ant, there can be different kinds of workers assigned with different tasks.
The soldier ants fight and defend the colony. In Durant’s case, they would fend off Heatmor. Perhaps they also have different roles like the pokédex explains. Maybe some lure Heatmor away from the nest, some might attack specific parts of its body, and so on.