38 Different Types of Ants in Hawaii

Types of Ants in Hawaii
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While we often think of Hawaii as being a tropical paradise of white sand beaches.

It’s important to remember that the islands are actually home to many different types of living things, including ants.

In fact, there are over 100 different species of ants in the state; making Hawaii one of the most ant-dense areas in the world!

Here are some of the most common types of ants in Hawaii, you can find there:

1. Downy Pennant Ant

This is first on the list of types of Ants in Hawaii. The Downy Pennant ant is an invasive species from Australia. They are dark brown to black and have a distinctive orange-red band at the end of their abdomen. 

These types of ants in Hawaii are known for their fast, aggressive behavior, and they build nests with multiple entrances, which allow them to quickly escape any predators.

They produce a foul odor when threatened or crushed, which can be detected by humans up to three feet away. 

The Downy Pennant prefers moist soil and forested areas where they can feed on tree sap or other sweet substances like honeydew secretions from aphids. They also prey on other insects, such as roaches and caterpillars that live close to the ground.

2. Groove-headed Fierce Ant

The Groove-headed Fierce Ant is found on the Big Island and Maui. The ant gets its name from the two grooves that are located on its head.

These types of ants in Hawaii can be seen when looking at the top and bottom of the ant’s head.

The ants are dark brown to black with a lighter abdomen, and they have a total length of 2mm to 3mm. They also don’t have any wings or stingers, so they aren’t as dangerous as some other types of ants

For example, if you’re walking around your house barefoot, it’s possible for these types of ants in Hawaii to bite you because their mandibles are about 1mm long.

They can live inside houses which increases the chances that you’ll see them throughout your day-to-day life

3. Greenhouse Fierce Ant

The Greenhouse Fierce ant is a large species, with an average size of around 15mm. The ants are called fierce because they are very aggressive and will not hesitate to sting humans or other animals.

They have been known to attack dogs and sometimes even kill them. These types of ants in Hawaii have been seen emerging from their nest at night and can be found foraging for food during the daytime. They feed on any liquid or solid material that is edible; they prefer moist soil.

These types of ant in Hawaii has only been seen on three islands: Maui Island, Lanai Island, and Molokai Island

4. Bicolored Pennant Ant

The Bicolored Pennant Ant is a common ant that can be found in various locations throughout Hawaii. They are normally found on the ground, but they have been known to nest within trees, walls, and even homes. 

The Bicolored Pennant types of Ants in Hawaii has two different colors on their body: black and orange. They have also known for their long antennae as well as their two distinctive white stripes that run down the length of the head to the tip of their abdomen. 

They feed on honeydew from aphids if disturbed by humans or animals; these ants will bite with a painful sting.

One interesting fact about these types of ants in Hawaii is that when it senses danger, it releases alarm pheromones from their mandibles to warn other nearby ants

5. Lesser Sneaking Ant

The lesser sneaking ant is a small brown ant that is not known to be harmful to humans or other animals. It can be found throughout the Hawaiian Islands and is considered an invasive species. 

They tend to nest in moist soil and feed on plant leaves, rotting plants, and fungi. The lesser sneaking ants do not live within the ground like most ants but instead make their nests on tree trunks or on top of boulders. They also have a tendency to use animal feces as nesting material.

6. Arboreal Sneaking Ant

Insects are everywhere on Earth, and Hawaii is no exception. One type of insect you can find here is the arboreal sneaking ant.

These types of ants in Hawaii looks like little black dots with white dot in the center that are found living high up on trees and bushes.

They eat plants and will even eat other insects that get trapped on their tree branches. They also have wings so they can fly to another tree if they feel threatened.

7. Yellow Sneaking Ant

The yellow sneaking ant is a type of thief ant, so named because they will steal from other ants. They are very small, measuring about 1 mm. They are usually seen around the mouthparts or pupae of other ants and feed on them for food.

The yellow sneaking can be found on the Big Island and Maui but is not found elsewhere on Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, or Lanai. The interesting fact about this art is that it’s smaller than most ants. 

8. Makaloa Wood Ant

Here is another type of Ants on the list. The Makaloa wood ant was given its name because it was first discovered living in an old Makaloa tree stump.

It is brown with a black abdomen; it has large eyes and long antennae. It is not as aggressive as some species of ants, but they will attack if their nests are disturbed by humans.

9. Argentine Ant

Argentine ants are one of the most common types of ants found on the Hawaiian islands. These ants can be identified by their size, which is larger than other species, and by their reddish-brown color.

Argentine ants are omnivorous insects that will consume a wide variety of food sources, including honeydew from aphids and fruit juices.

The reproductive capacity is high for this species as well, with one queen being capable of producing up to 2 million workers per year.

If you have an infestation or just want to learn more about these types of Ants in Hawaii, then read on!

10. Larger Black Sneaking Ant

In general, ants are very easy to identify and differentiate from other insects. They are usually black or brown and have a distinctly ant-like shape. 

They typically have six legs (most insects only have four) and an elbowed antenna that is bent at the tip. The larger black sneaking ant is one example of this type of ant found in Hawaii.

11. Emery’s Sneaking Ant

Emery’s Sneaking Ant is another type on the list. You can find Emery’s Sneaking Ant (Rhopalodia emeryi) on the island of Oahu. 

These types of ants in Hawaii are small and have blackheads and thorax. They range from one-eighth to one-quarter inches long.

Emery’s Sneaking Ant feeds mostly on other ants, but it will also feed on insects, spiders, and their eggs and larvae.

This species is not aggressive, but it will defend itself if attacked by larger insects or animals such as birds.

These types of ants in Hawaii nest in soil or rotting wood near ant colonies they feed on or near food sources such as sugarcane fields.

12. Destroyer Ant

The destroyer is one of the most dangerous types of ants in Hawaii. These ants are identified by their yellow color, and they are known to attack other insects, such as crickets, cockroaches, and spiders. 

They can also be a problem for people because they will enter homes or buildings if there is food available inside.

The best way to prevent these types of ants in Hawaii from entering your home or property is by sealing all openings with caulk or insulation foam.

13. Liliuokalani’s Trailing Ant

The Liliuokalani’s Trailing Ant is a very small type of ant and can only be found on the island of Kauai. It gets its name from queen Liliuokalani, who was born on Kauai.

These types of ants in Hawaii are also referred to as honeypot ants because they store food in their abdomen for future use. They are mostly seen near the coastlines. They feed on bugs, larvae, seeds, and fruit. 

14. Flower Ant

The Flower Ant (Dasymutilla Magnifica) is a species that can be found exclusively on the islands of Oahu and Kauai.

This ant, like many others, feeds primarily on nectar from flowers, as well as other small insects that they are able to catch.

One of the most interesting things about these types of ants in Hawaii is their ability to release formic acid when they feel threatened.

This acid makes them undesirable prey for many animals, which leaves them with fewer predators and fewer threats to their survival.

15. Pharaoh Ant

The pharaoh ant is the most invasive ant species to be found on the islands. It doesn’t have a stinger, but it does have a powerful sting, and it’s very aggressive.

So, They have been known to form living bridges across the water and live for up to six months without food or water. These types of ants in Hawaii are attracted to sweet things like honey, syrup, and juice. 

Sometimes, they will chew through cardboard boxes, paper bags, and containers that contain these products. They typically nest near kitchens or other food sources such as garbage cans.

Pharaoh ants prefer warm indoor areas with little light since they’re nocturnal insects that can give you an itchy bite if you happen to disturb them while they’re resting on your skin. So be careful when you’re cleaning!

16. Globular Thief Ant

The globular thief ant is a small black or dark brown ant which can be distinguished from the other species by its globular abdomen. It prefers to nest under rocks and logs where it preys on other ants and insect larvae.

 The globular thief ant nests are usually smaller than other ants, with an average nest size of about six to eight workers.

These types of Ants in Hawaii are often scavengers, collecting food for their young from the bodies of dead insects.

They will also prey on small invertebrates such as spiders and scorpions that wander too close to their nest.

17. Red Imported Fire Ant

The red imported fire ant is a very aggressive type of ant and will give you one heck of a bite. These ants are mainly found on the Big Island, but they have been known to inhabit other parts of the island chain as well.

So, If you see one crawling around your property, don’t try to kill it with your bare hands! Instead, grab a can or bottle and pour some boiling water on it. This will make sure you get rid of it quickly and safely. 

But if these types of ants in Hawaii seem to be coming inside your house for some reason, then there may be something more going on. Contact an exterminator as soon as possible to take care of the problem before it gets out of hand!

18. Tropical Fire Ant

The most commonly seen ant in the Hawaiian Islands is the Tropical Fire Ant (Solenopsis geminata). This ant is abundant throughout the islands and can be found living in both urban and rural environments. 

These types of Ants in Hawaii are also referred to as Red Imported Fire Ant, RIFA, or simply fire ants due to their painful sting. The sting from this can have a range of symptoms including skin irritation and swelling.

These ants are not native to Hawaii but rather were brought over by humans who imported them from South America where they originated.

They were first discovered on Oʻahu near Pearl Harbor in 1942 but had been introduced at several other locations before that point.

19. Little Fire Ant

The Little Fire Ant is one of the most common types of ants in Hawaii. They are usually found on the ground and near homes, often seen on sidewalks and driveways. 

This type of ant is black or dark brown and is about 1/8 inch long. Little Fire Ants do not sting, but they do produce a painful bite that can sometimes result in an allergic reaction for some people.

With their mandibles (jaws), Little Fire Ants can cause damage to human skin, which may lead to infection if not treated properly.

The best thing you can do when these ants infest your home is to call a local exterminator right away!

20. Roger’s Pygmy Snapping Ant

The Roger’s Pygmy Snapping Ant is a small, red-colored ant that is native to the Hawaiian Islands. They are found mainly on the island of Kauai, but they are also found on Maui and Oahu. 

They typically live near or even inside human structures, such as attics and walls. These types of ants are also known to be one of the most venomous ants in the world. 

So, It’s not unusual for these ants to spray formic acid up to two inches away from their target, which can cause temporary blindness and skin irritation.

These types of ants in Hawaii tend to feed on protein, so this could explain why it has been spotted feeding on coconut milk left out by humans in their yards.

21. Lewis’ Pygmy Snapping Ant

The Lewis’ pygmy snapping ant is a tiny little insect, only three millimeters long. It has a jet-black head and thorax with a reddish abdomen.

The ant is found all over the island, from the lowlands to the highest mountain peaks.

These types of ants in Hawaii are quite aggressive and will attack anything that invades their territory. They can be identified by tapping on an anthill; if the sound it makes sounds like poot, then there’s a high chance you’ve got some of these ants in your area.

22. Bare Mustache Ant

Bare Mustache Ants are another type on the list. This type of ant is known to live near the ground and is less active than other types.

They are also one of the most aggressive ants and will defend their colony by stinging and biting anything that intrudes.

They have a fairly large head, so they might be confused with an army ant from afar. However, if you get close enough you can see that the bare mustache has small mandibles on its mouthparts. 

These types of ants in Hawaii are also known as bare-faced because they don’t have a coating on their head as many other ants do.

The Bare Mustache Ant can be found across much of the United States but is most populous in Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana.

23. Emma’s Pygmy Snapping Ant

Emma’s pygmy snapping is a less common type of ant that can be found on the Hawaiian islands. This type of ant is small, and they live primarily in forests. 

These types of ants in Hawaii have long mandibles that enable them to catch prey quickly and with great force, making these ants quite formidable hunters. Their diet mainly consists of other insects, spiders, and even smaller species of ants.

These ants are also known for their painful bite, which can cause an allergic reaction when bitten by one.

24. African Big-headed Ant

The African Big-headed Ant (Pheidole megacephala) is a species of ant that can be found on the island of Hawai’i.

It is also the most common ant on the island and it is known to be a pest due to its large size and aggressive nature. 

The ants are usually black or brown in color, with some having red markings on their body. They are usually seen feeding off sap and honeydew from aphids or other insects that they attack for food.

They are tropical-type ants and cannot survive temperatures below 20°C, which makes them unable to live anywhere but in the warmer regions of Hawai’i, such as Kaua’i.

25. Graceful Twig Ant

The graceful twig ant is a species found only on the Hawaiian Islands. These ants are known for their appearance, which is an orange-red color, and for their long legs. 

Another unique trait of these types of Ants in Hawaii is that they do not have eyes. They are often found living in trees or logs that have fallen to the ground.

The graceful twig ant feeds on other insects, typically ones that are dead or dying.

26. Granulate Crypt Ant

The Granulate Crypt Ant is a species that can be found throughout the Hawaiian Islands. It is known to live under stones, leaf litter, and logs, but it also has been known to make its home in trees.

These types of ants in Hawaii are not particularly aggressive but will sting if threatened. The name for this type comes from the tiny granules on their body that give them a speckled appearance. 

They feed on small invertebrates like termites, which makes them very beneficial. Some ants have been known to nest near small children because they attract food sources. Some people find these ants around their houses when there’s an infestation of other pests nearby.

27. Roger’s Crypt Ant

Here is another type on the list named Roger’s Crypt Ant. There’s no need to worry about these ants invading your home because they don’t prefer dry habitats such as those found indoors. 

As long as you keep your yard clean and free from debris, such as dead wood or fallen leaves where the ants can find shelter, you should be good!

Rogers crypt ant feeds on nectar and pollen; it has a dark brown head with a red-brown body;  unlike other types of ants, rogers crypt ant nests have multiple queens

28. Seaside Rover Ant

The Seaside Rover ant is a medium-sized reddish-brown ant found on the Hawaiian Islands. They are most commonly found on sandy beaches and coastal habitats. 

These types of Ants in Hawaii are known to be scavengers, eating anything they can find, including dead animals, seaweed, fungus, and other plants. Seaside Rover ants can also be found living under rocks and logs or among mosses and lichens.

While these ants are often found on beaches, they also live inland around creeks and other water sources.

Seaside Rover ants can be identified by their reddish-brown color with black legs, antennae, and thorax. They also have a distinctive stinger which is often hidden inside their abdomen.

These types of Ants in Hawaii live on or near Hawaiian beaches. Others include pheasants, geese, foxes, mongooses, and wild boars.

29. Robust Crazy Ant

There are a few types of ants that live within the Hawaiian Islands. Most notably, there is the Robust Crazy Ant.

The Robust Crazy Ant is also known as Pheidole megacephala. This ant can be found on every island but Kauai and Niihau. 

They live in high elevations and prefer to nest in cracks or soil near rocks or trees. They eat plant matter (vegetation) and insects such as caterpillars, flies, wasps, and grasshoppers.

In addition to preferring to build nests around trees or rock areas, these types of ants in Hawaii also build nests around homes if they get the chance to gain access.

30. Longhorn Crazy Ant

The longhorn crazy ant is a relatively new invasive pest that was first discovered in 1993. The longhorn crazy ant is identified by its long antennae, which give it its name.

These types of Ants in Hawaii are known for their fast and frantic movements and are often confused with pharaoh ants.

However, unlike pharaoh ants, the longhorn crazy ant does not have a toxic bite or sting. They can be found throughout the state of Hawaii on all islands except Kahoʻolawe.

These types of Ants in Hawaii typically nest outdoors on trees and other plants, but they will invade houses if food sources are available to them inside.

31. Yellow Crazy Ant

The yellow crazy ants are the most common types of Ants in Hawaii. These ants are small, around 1/16th to 1/8th inch in length, and they have a dark brown head and thorax with a pale abdomen. 

They live most often on the ground or near it but can also be found nesting high up in trees. Yellow crazy ants will eat anything they find, including dead insects, animal dung, and honeydew from aphids that feed on plant leaves.

And they excrete sugar droplets on leaves and stems, vegetation like seeds, and fruit that has fallen to the ground. The ants themselves are prey for spiders and other arthropods (like centipedes).

32. Little Yellow Ant

The Little Yellow Ant, also known as Pheidole Paraponerae, is a small species of ant that can be found on the Hawaiian Islands and other parts of the Pacific. They are known to be very fast runners and have a tendency to jump. 

The Little Yellow Ant thrives best at high elevations, but can also be found close to sea level. These ants will eat anything they can find, such as flowers, fruits, roots, and seeds, and live prey, such as snails and slugs.

33. White-footed Ant

If you live in the United States, you might have seen these types of Ants in Hawaii before. They are some of the most common ants found here, and they feed off other insects, including other ants. 

They also thrive on honeydew, which is a sweet liquid that comes from aphids or scale insects. This is why they are often spotted near trees where these insects like to hang out. You will also find them nesting under rocks or around your garden. 

White-footed ants can be distinguished by their shiny abdomen, long legs, and pale coloration at the end of their abdomens that look like feet! These ants are not known to bite humans, but they will bite other animals if they feel threatened.

34. Pallid-footed Ant

The Pallid-footed Ant is a small ant that can be found on the islands of Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Oahu. They are just one-quarter inch long and have a black head, light brown thorax, and legs with dark brown tarsi. 

These types of Ants in Hawaii like to live in trees and shrubs where they feed on the honeydew produced by aphids. The ant will bite if handled, but they are not poisonous to humans.

35. Difficult White-footed Ant

The Difficult White-footed Ant is a native species that is found throughout the Hawaiian islands. It can be identified by its reddish brown body with yellow spots and a pair of spotless white feet. 

These types of Ants in Hawaii prefer to nest in trees and shrubs but will occasionally nest on the ground. The Difficult White-footed Ant is usually not aggressive unless its nest or food sources are threatened, but it will sting if harassed.

They feed on honeydew excreted from aphids and soft-scale insects. Due to their size, they don’t cause much damage when compared to other ants.

36. Ghost Ant

These types of Ants in Hawaii are translucent white or pale yellow, and they have a tendency to disappear and reappear. They can be found on all islands but are most prevalent on the Big Island.

Ghost ants live in open spaces and will nest under rocks, wood, cardboard boxes, soil, plants, and other items that provide shelter for them.

The ghost ant is one of the more aggressive species of the ant because it does not have to worry about predators as other ants do. When a ghost ant colony becomes too large for its space, the queen will split it into two colonies.

These new colonies then have to find new homes with little warning, so there can be fighting over who gets the better space.

37. Odorous House Ant

Odorous house ants are small, about 0.4 inches long, and can be distinguished from other ants by their thin bodies. This ant is dark brown with a yellowish-brown abdomen.

The odorous house ant is often mistaken for the black carpenter ant because both have a similar body shape and size. The odor of this species comes from its droppings which smell like rotten coconuts to humans.

Odorous house ants are considered nuisance pests because they enter homes to forage for food, such as honeydew and nectar, but do not usually cause structural damage to homes like other types of ants in Hawaii to do.

These types of Ants in Hawaii also reproduce inside the home, which can lead to an infestation if left untreated.

38. Copper-bellied Ant

The copper-bellied ant is a species that can be found on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. They live primarily in forests and can sometimes be found near streams or waterfalls.

The copper-bellied ant has a yellowish body with brown markings and a bright red abdomen.

This ant has antennae that are thin and long. Their mandibles have a triangular shape which helps them to tear apart their prey.

This ant mainly feeds on nectar from flowers but will also feed on other insects when they need to eat quickly.

The copper-bellied types of Ants in Hawaii are solitary foragers, which means they hunt alone for food rather than work together as a group like some other types of ants in Hawaii do.


It’s no secret that there are a lot of types of ants in Hawaii. So many, in fact that you could spend your whole day looking for them.

With so many species, it can be hard to know what ant you’re looking at. However, when you start getting into the nitty-gritty details, you’ll find that there are actually 19 different types of ants found on the islands!

Today we’ll cover all the basics and give you some background information on these varied little insects.

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