How Many Types of Ants Are In The World? – Types of Ants

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You may be both surprised and shocked to know that there are more than 12000 ant species in the world. According to entomologists, you cannot differentiate between the different species of ants unless you examine them under a microscope. Not even the experts can guarantee the type of ants unless they count the antennae segments and analyze the body structure under the microscope.

Different Types of Ants

All types of ants belong to the family of Formicidae and fall under the order of Hymenoptera. Generally, the ants are black or red and their size ranges from 0.33 to 0.50 inches depending on their variety.

In terms of size, they can be categorized into small ants and big ants.

Five Types of Small Ants

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants

These types of ants do not grow longer than 0.13 inches. Their heart-shaped abdomen makes them distinct and easily identifiable. They have a black abdomen with a light or reddish brown body. They are commonly found in some parts of the United States and unlike other ant species, they do not build mounds. They take shelter from rocks, leaves, debris, or crevices in the walls inside your home.

Crazy Ants

crazy ants

Crazy ants are predominately found in various parts of the United States and grow up to 0.1 inches long. Distinguished by massive colonies, multiple queens, and dark body color. They build their nest far from the food source. Their movements are erratic as they keep moving back and forth to carry their food to the nest.

Ghost Ants

Ghost Ants

These types of ants are extremely small in size and measure only up to 0.063 inches. These tiny species of ants are endemic to parts of Florida and Hawaii. Now they have migrated to other parts as well through the import of plants and other items. In the outdoors, they built their nests on rocks, leaves, etc but when indoors, they built their nest inside the cabinets and cracks in the walls where it is easy for them to find food.

Little Black Ants

These types of ants are black and also measure up to 0.063 inches in size. They generally build their nests in decaying wood, behind the walls or dried leaves, etc. You can get rid of them easily by keeping your surroundings free from falling leaves and decayed logs of wood.

Odorous Ants

Odorous Ants

These tiny creatures produce a pungent odor when squashed. Predominant throughout the United States, these little ants are one of the ant species that feed upon Aphids. So, if you want to get rid of them, keep your backyard clean and distasteful for Aphids.

Five Types of Big Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the most widely found types of ants. They have derived their name from their ability to build their nests in the wood. Due to this ability, they are often misconstrued as Termites. Unlike Termites, they do not feed upon wood and only use wood to build tunnels to their nest. Carpenter ants are generally red, black, or red and black and can be up to 1 inch long. They can be aggressive and extremely dangerous to protect their nest from invaders.

Black Carpenter Ants

Black Carpenter ants Inhabited forests in Canada and eastern and Central America. These black-colored pests can be up to 0.48 inches in length with white hair on their body and can cause serious damage to the structures of buildings and houses in cases of invasion. Their bites are generally not fatal, as they do not have venom. However, it can cause severe irritation and itching with associated complications if they spread formic acid on the bite wound. Prominent types of black ants include Eastern Black ant, Black Harvester ant, and little black ant.

Southern Wood Ants

Southern Wood Ants

Also popular as red wood ants are orange and black and may measure up to 0.35 inches in length. Can be generally seen in the woodlands of the UK and Northern America. Though they are deeply fond of woods, they often make their nests with a heap of grass. Their bite can be dangerous as they spray formic acid on the bite wound, which aggravates and makes the pain worse. The types of fire ants include native fire ants and imported fire ants.

Green Ant

Also known as the green head ant, these types of ants are native to Australia and sometimes visible in New Zealand as well. Though they are called green ants, their color can be green or a shade of purple. They can be up to 0.28 inches in size. Like the other ant species, the queen ants are larger than other worker ants. Due to their remarkable adaptability, they can live in forests, deserts, and city areas with ease. Their bites are fatal as they have venom. Generally, they use their venom to kill beetles and Moths, but it can cause anaphylactic shock in some people.

Slave Maker Ant

Slave Maker Ant

Slave Maker ants can measure up to 0.4 inches in length and are creatures with black bodies and bright red heads and legs. These predator ants use formic acid to kill their prey and are highly aggressive. They derived their name from their mechanism to capture other nests and make the worker ants their slave where their queen kills the queen of the captive nest.

Types of Ants With Wings

We mostly consider ants to be a crawling species. Generally, ants do not have wings, only a few ants develop wings for mating. Such types of flying ants are termed Alates. Alates are only a subset of the ant species and for a shorter period.

When a swarm of flying ants swirls above the ground in large numbers, it is called Nuptial flight. It can be seen in the late spring or early summer season. They generally prefer a warm, humid, low wind climate for mating and if you find a few near your house in the winters, stay alert. It indicates an infestation of ants in your house.

Certain types of Carpenter Ants are winged as well. You can easily identify their infestation by wood shavings on the ground or a rustling sound on the ground.

Types of Ants in Texas

The species of Ants that are most commonly found strolling in the houses in Texas are-

  • Carpenter Ants
  • Crazy Ants
  • Odorous House Ants
  • Fire Ants
  • Little Black Ants
  • Pavement Ants
  • Argentine Ants

Types of Ants In Florida

Out of 12000 ant species found on earth, Florida is home to 14 such ant species.

Few commonly found ones are-

  • Argentine Ants
  • Ghost Ants
  • White Footed Ants
  • Pyramid Ants
  • Pavement Ants
  • Big Headed Ants
  • Rover Ants
  • Pharaoh Ants

The Types of Ants: The Bottom Line

Types of Ants can fascinate you with their characteristic traits and unique nomenclatures. You must have realized by now that though ants may seem powerless they can take human life as well.

It is always advisable not to test their patience and aggression instead take measures to get rid of these notorious creatures. First, you may use homemade solutions, and if they do not work seek professional pest control assistance.

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