Ants are adorable creatures in whose colonies there is a strict hierarchy, and all the work is done by worker ants. Ants, found almost everywhere in the world and now numbering more than 12,000 species, are thriving. While many species share similar coloration, the same cannot be said for their size, from the smallest sizes you can imagine to surprisingly large ones. Here are the 10 largest longest ants.
# 10: Formica Beetle
Formica Beetle widespread in Europe, Asia and Africa. They are completely black and prefer to live in rotten trees at the edge of the forest and sometimes in hedges. These ants can grow up to 0.28 inches in length and live in colonies of 500 to 2000, with several queens in each colony. Formica Beetle usually eat aphids, midges, midges and moth larvae.
# 9: Green Ant
The green ant, also known as the green head ant, is endemic to Australia, but some are now found in New Zealand as well. Although they are called green ants, their color can be green or various shades of magenta. Green ants grow to about 0.28 inches, with the queens being slightly larger than the workers. They are highly adaptable species and can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, deserts, and urban areas. Green ants are poisonous, and their bite is known to cause anaphylactic shock in some people, which can be especially dangerous for anyone affected, although they usually only use it to kill beetles and moths.
# 8: Southern Forest Ant
The southern wood ant, also known as the red wood ant, has a striking appearance – an orange-black body – and grows to 0.35 inches in length. Although they are commonly found in the UK, they are also found in North America. Southern wood ants prefer a forest habitat, but are also occasionally found in swamps, and their nests often look like large clumps of grass. They have a defense mechanism: they spray formic acid on predators. However, southern forest ants play an important role in pest control as they eat a wide variety of beetles and small insects that would otherwise harm forest habitats.
# 7: Slave Maker Ant
Slave Ant (Formica) can grow up to 0.4 inches, has a bright red head and legs with a black body. It is the largest ant in the UK, but it is also widespread in the rest of Europe, Japan, Russia, China, Korea, Africa and America. Slave ants live in forest habitats and are known for raiding other ants’ nests, usually Formica bumblebeewhere the queen kills the existing queen and the workers then become laborers for the slave ants, from where they get their name. They also have an excellent defense mechanism: like some other species, they use formic acid to kill their prey.
# 6: black carpenter ant
Black carpenter ants (Camponotus pennysylvanicus) grow in Canada, as well as in eastern and central America, where they can be found in most woodlands. They nest in trees and in dead wood, but are classified as pests because they often cause structural damage to homes and other buildings when colonies invade. These ants are usually about 0.48 inches tall, black with white hairs on their body. They are not stinging or poisonous, but they can bite hard and spray formic acid onto the bite wound. Black carpenter ants have a much wider range than other ants and often travel about 100 yards in search of food, which is a series of plants and small insects.
# 5: striped sugar ant
A native of Australia, the striped sugar ant gets its name from an addiction to everything sweet and sweet. These ants grow to about 0.6 inches and are found in a wide variety of habitats including forests, grasslands, forests, coastal areas, and urban areas. They are easy to recognize as females have a black head and an orange stripe around the midsection, while males have a black head with orange-brown legs. Striped sugar ants are common household pests as they often gnaw on wood and damage furniture, but they do not bite or bite people. However, they are the dominant species and often attack the nests of other ants, where they catch and kill their opponents.
# 4: dinoponera quads
Dinoponera four-headed is a poisonous ant species from Brazil, where their favorite habitat is warm and humid forest areas. It is a completely black ant, growing up to 0.8 inches in length. Dinoponera four-headed – a particularly unusual species of ants, as they do not have queens, instead all females are capable of reproduction. They build their nests at the foot of trees and do not go so far from them in search of food. They are omnivorous, but use their venom to subdue their prey when catching live insects. Their bite can be extremely painful, with some severe pain lasting for about two days.
# 3: carpenter ant
Carpenter ants (Camponotus ligniperda) are widespread throughout the world and derive their name from their ability to build their nests out of wood, often working their way through it until they gouge out a section to build. Although they prefer dead wood, they often build their nests in houses that can seriously disrupt the structure of the building, which is why they are usually classified as pests. Carpenter ants are usually black or dark brown and often reach 1 inch in length. They are a particularly aggressive species and fiercely defend their nests if they are alarmed or feel threatened, and they often kill worker ants of other species if they get too close to their nests.
# 2: bullet ant
One of the largest ant species is the bullet ant, which usually grows to about 1.2 inches in length. They live in the rainforests of Central America and South America, where they build their nests under trees. Bullet ants are reddish-black in color and get their name from their extremely painful bite, which is often compared to a bite when shot. They also produce poneratoxin, which is a neurotoxin that causes paralysis and pain in the affected area. Bullet ants are also one of the main predators of the glass-winged butterfly.
# 1: giant Amazon
The largest ant in the world is the giant Amazonian ant, which can grow to an impressive 1.6 inches in length. Found only in South America, these huge ants are happy to live in both rainforest and coastal areas. Females are coal black and males are deep red, and they can be territorial when faced with other ants. The giant Amazonian ants usually nest in the soil and do not move more than 30 feet away in search of food. They eat a variety of plants and insects, as well as spiders, snails, and crickets.
Bonus: the world’s largest ant colony
The largest ant colony in the world is the Argentine supercolony, which is 3,730 miles (6,004 km) long. The colony stretches from the city of A Coruña in Spain to Genoa on the Italian coast.
The Argentine ant is an invasive species for Europe. Once the species landed on European soil, it formed two supercolonies, with the larger colony making up the largest cooperative unit ever recorded! Other large ant colonies include:
- Hokkaido Super Ant Colony: An ant colony on Japan’s northernmost island that was once home to over a million king ants! Although urbanization has led to a decline in the colony’s population, it is believed that there are 45,000 nests connected by a complex series of passages.
- California supercolony: Argentine ants have also become an invasive species in California. This colony is smaller than the European supercolony, being “only” 560 miles long.