The cliche about ants (tracing back to King Solomon in the bible) is that they are hard working, but as the book describes, this is not true. In a colony, there can be ants that work all day, and others who lie around and do next to nothing much of the time. In fact, my friend Barrett Klein just finished his dissertation at the University of Texas in sleep in the honeybee. It's likely that ants do their fair share of sleeping, too, but as with the bees it is also likely that some get less of a fair share than others. The hardworking individuals are sometimes able to motivate other workers to get an important task done, but at other times they have to go it alone.
I show in the book that ants are often born into a certain specialization, but it is nevertheless possible for them get good at certain jobs through repetition, as some people do with a musical instrument. Different ant workers for example become adept at finding different kinds of food, or they come to know a certain area around their home best, and hunt there with special skill.
In short, all ants are different, once you get to know them well enough.
In AAA, I carry this idea to the level of the superorganism (the idea that ant colonies act like single organisms, so that you can think of all the workers as part of this greater whole). What I have noticed is that one colony can be harder working or more risk-taking than another.
Even an ant colony, then, might have a personality!