But how many different types of ants exist? Ants are thought to number over 20,000 species. Each of these species has distinct habits and features, yet they share certain elements.
These components are as follows:
- Feeding: Most ant species eat natural juices from fruits and flowers, while others eat plants. Furthermore, some carnivorous species, such as flies and cockroaches, devour dead insects.
- Habitat: different types of ants dwell all over the earth, except for Antarctica and a few inaccessible islands. Ants often construct anthills from dirt and wood, but they can also organize themselves on building walls. Every ant species lives in colonies of up to 10,000 members. There is usually only one queen ant in an anthill.
- Life span: Ant life expectancy varies by species. However, most ants only live for a few months. They may live for a year at most, but this is uncommon.
- Behavior: Ants are exceptionally gregarious and organized insects in terms of behavior and organization. Because of these two features, all different types of ants in a colony share the same responsibility for maintaining the anthill. Each ant performs a specific purpose. The primary goal of all ants in a colony is to ensure the well-being of the colony by protecting all of its members. Furthermore, ants are extremely protective of their habitat and will not admit any other types of ants into their colony.
Ants are a popular type of insect that are easily recognizable by their remarkable level of organization.
These euro social insects went through a period of evolution approximately 140 million years ago and can now live and thrive in virtually any environment across the globe.
However, because these insects are so tiny and we have grown so accustomed to seeing them, some of us tend to forget about how incredible they truly are.
Do you have an interest in learning everything there is to know about the many different types of ants? If that’s the case, you’ve arrived at the correct destination!
Continue reading to learn more about the many species of ants and receive a list of the ten most common types of ants, along with some fascinating facts about each.
1. Bullet Ant
It is possible to come across the bullet ant, also known as the Paraponera clavata, throughout South America, specifically in nations such as Nicaragua, Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil, and Honduras.
This particular variety of black ants is notorious for having the most excruciating bite of any insect in the world; the sensation is comparable to being shot by a bullet.
The sting delivered by this creature is thirty times more terrible than that delivered by a wasp.
A bite from a bullet ant can cause a person to experience chills, sweating, and even insensibility in the affected limb.
2. Bulldog Ant
The second mention on our list of different types of ants is the Bulldog ant. Australia and New Caledonia are the two places where you can find the bulldog ant, also known as the Giant killer bulldog ant or Myrmecia.
This ant species is easily identifiable by its dark brown and reddish coloring and enormous yellow mouth.
The bulldog ant carries a potent poison capable of producing a painful burn on the skin that may leave permanent scarring.
Additionally, the bulldog ant may cause an extremely severe allergic reaction that has the potential to be fatal.
The bulldog ant is the most hazardous species of ant on the planet, at least according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
3. Red Fire Ant
Deep black with fiery red undertones, the red imported fire ant, also known as the fire ant or Solenopsis richteri, can also be called the fire ant.
This species of ant, indigenous to South America, is characterized by its very belligerent behavior. It is unusual for this species of ant to bite or attack humans unless disturbed.
A bite from a red fire ant can be excruciating and last for a long time, much like a wasp sting. These ants are extremely deadly.
Texas, Florida, and many other southern states are home to populations of these different types of ants.
4. African Ant
Pachycondyla analis, also known as Megaponera foetens, is a species of ant considered to be among the most hazardous in the world.
This ant species reside in Senegal, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Togo. They can range in size from 5 to 18 millimeters and have a sting and strong jaws in the shape of a triangle that can pierce human skin.
Its neurotoxic venom is particularly potent, and it is with this venom that it can successfully paralyze its prey. This makes them notable on our list of different types of ants.
5. Carpenter Ant
The species of ant known as Camponotus, sometimes known as the carpenter ant, may be found in Africa and America.
There are two distinct varieties of carpenter ant nests: parent colonies and satellite colonies. The fact that these ants construct their nests out of wood is where they got their name from.
However, this can have catastrophic repercussions for the environment, as these ant colonies will continue to grow and cause extensive damage to the tree structures as they do so.
In most cases, carpenter ants will seek refuge in decaying wood since this type of environment provides the humidity level necessary to ensure their survival.
Carpenter ants are polymorphic, which means that each individual is different from the others by size and coloration.
Most of their diet consists of dead insects, sweet plant compounds, flowers, fruits, meats, lipids, and the occasional flower or fruit. It’s not uncommon to find carpenter ants in states like Illinois and Florida.
6. Argentine Ant
The Argentine ant, also known as Linepithema humile after its scientific name, is a species only found in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
The Argentine ant has a length of around two to three millimeters, but it is a particularly aggressive species that will fight to the death to defend its habitat.
However, the power and abundance of these ants often lead to the extinction of native species and cause irreversible changes to the ecosystem when they invade new territory. You can find these different types of ants in many humid regions, including Florida.
7. Leafcutter Ant
There are more than forty different species of leafcutter ants, all of which are classified under the genera Atta and Acromyrmex.
These different types of ants are identifiable by the intricate social structures they have developed over time.
A colony of leafcutter ants comprises several distinct classes, sometimes called castes. The queen led these castes, followed by soldiers, foragers, and planters.
The queen is responsible for reproduction and the search for suitable nesting sites. The foragers are in charge of seeking food and creating tunnels for the other ants in the colony, while the soldiers are responsible for defending the colony from outside dangers.
On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the planters to tend to the growth of the fungi, larvae, and developing eggs. This species of field cutter ant range extends from Panama to northern Argentina.
8. Odorous House Ant
In addition to its other names, the odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile)is sometimes referred to as the sugar or coconut ant.
This species of ant commonly seen in homes is indigenous to the United States. The name of these ants comes from the foul odor released when the ants are crushed.
One can find the smelly houseplant living behind rocks, logs, rubbish, or other things, as well as in crevices on the floor and walls of the home.
9. Red Wood Ant
Formica rufa, sometimes known as the red wood ant of wood, is a relatively widespread species in Europe. These ants build vast colonies in deep woodlands.
Each colony is home to over 200,000 individuals. They are omnivorous creatures, meaning they consume both plant and animal matter in their diets.
10. Harvester Ant
The harvester ant, also known as Messor barbarus, is an ant species in Spain, Italy, France, and Morocco. You can also find it in Morocco.
The members of this ant species build their nests in the ground and consume only granivorous foods.
These different types of ants are distinct from others by having exceptionally high personal and colony cleanliness standards.