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What Eats Ants? (A to Z List with Pictures)

What Eats Ants

Animals that eat ants include anteaters, aardvark, antbirds, bugs, and spiders.

There are many animals that eat ants, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Some of these animals consume ants as a primary food source, while others consume them as a supplement to their regular diet. Ants are an important part of the food chain and provide sustenance for many different species of animals.

Examples of Animals that Eat Ants

1. Aardvark

Aardvark
Scientific NameOrycteropus afe
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica
DietOmnivore

The aardvark is a mammal that eats ants and termites. They are the only species of animal in the world that feeds exclusively on insects. Aardvarks are nocturnal animals and use their long tongues to capture ants and termites.

Related Article: Do Aardvark Burrow Underground?

2. Antbirds

Antbird
Scientific NameThamnophilidae
Type of AnimalBird
Range Subtropical and tropical Central and South America, Mexico and Argentina
DietCarnivore

There are many different species of antbirds, all of which consume ants. Antbirds live in a wide range of habitats, from rainforest to desert. They use their long beaks to probe deep into anthills and nests for ants.

3. Anteater

anteater
Scientific NameVermilingua
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America except for Guatemala, Uruguay, and El Salvador
DietOmnivore

Anteaters are mammals that specialize in eating ants and termites. They have long tongues that can extend up to 18 inches, and their specially adapted stomachs allow them to digest the hard exoskeletons of these insects.

Related Article: Are Ants Producers, Decomposers or Consumers?

4. Antlions

Antlion
Scientific NameMyrmeleontidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeThe United States, and North America
DietCarnivore

Antlions are a type of insect that preys on ants. They dig pits in the sand and wait for an ant to fall in. Once an ant falls in, the antlion will grab it with its pincers and consume it.

5. Antpittas

Scientific NameGrallariidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSubtropical and tropical Central and South America
DietCarnivore

Antpittas are a type of bird that eats ants. These birds are found in Central and South America and use their sharp beaks to capture ants. Antpittas typically eat around 50-100 ants per day.

6. Assassin Bugs

Assassin Bug
Scientific NameReduviidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeArizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico
DietCarnivore

Assassin bugs are predators that feed on a variety of different prey, including ants. They use their long, slender bodies to sneak up on their prey and inject them with poisonous saliva that paralyzes the insect. The assassin bug then sucks the body fluids out of the insect.

7. Beetles

Darkling Beetle
Scientific NameColeoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

The harvester beetle is a type of beetle that feeds on ants. They are so named because they harvest the seeds from ant colonies. The harvester beetle uses its strong jaws to pierce the exoskeleton of the ant and extract the insect’s internal organs.

8. Black Widow

black widow
Scientific NameLatrodectus
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeNorth America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America
DietCarnivore

The black widow is a spider that preys on insects, including ants. They are one of the most venomous spiders in the world, and their bite can be deadly to humans. Black widows build webs in dark, secluded areas, and wait for prey to become ensnared.

9. Blind Snakes

Blind Snake / Flowerpot Snake / Worm Snake
Scientific NameTyphlopidae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNew Guinea, Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Madagascar, the Middle East, Europe, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
DietCarnivore

There are over 250 different species of blind snakes, all of which consume ants. Blind snakes are so named because they lack eyelids and cannot see. They use their acute sense of smell to locate ants and then eat them.

10. Caterpillars

Caterpillar
Scientific NameLarva
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

The larvae of the monarch butterfly feed on milkweed plants, which are rich in toxins. These toxins make the caterpillars poisonous to predators. Ants are one of the few predators that will eat monarch caterpillars, and they account for a majority of the caterpillar’s diet.

11. Fire Ants

Fire Ant Mandibles
Scientific NameSolenopsis
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeSubtropical southeastern USA
DietOmnivore

Fire ants are a species of ant that is native to South America. They get their name from the fact that they will bite and sting their prey with a venomous substance that can cause burns. Fire ants are a significant problem in many parts of the world, as they can be very aggressive and cause serious injury to humans and animals.

12. Fish

Tigerfish
Scientific NameFish
Type of AnimalFish
Range All aquatic habitats
DietOmnivore

Some species of fish, such as the dorado catfish, eat ants. The dorado catfish is a freshwater fish that inhabits South America. These fish use their sharp teeth to capture and eat ants.

13. Flickers

Northern Flicker
Scientific NameColaptes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAlaska and Nicaragua
DietCarnivore

Flickers are a type of woodpecker that eat ants. They use their long, sharp beaks to probe into the ground for ants. Once they find an ant nest, they will hammer away at it with their beaks until the ants come out. Then, they will catch the ants in their mouths and eat them.

14. Grouse

Grouse
Scientific NameTetraonini
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSubarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere
DietOmnivore

Grouse are a type of bird that consumes ants. They use their long beaks to pick ants off the ground and eat them whole. Grouse typically eat other insects as well, such as beetles and grasshoppers for the source of protein.

15. Horned Lizards

Horned Lizard
Scientific NamePhrynosoma
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorth and Central America, Canada, and Guatemala
DietOmnivore

Horned lizards are a type of lizard that feeds on ants. They have a specialized diet and can eat more than 400 ants per day. Horned lizards have sharp spines on their heads and backs that help them defend themselves from predators.

16. House Gecko

Geckos
Scientific NameHemidactylus frenatus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouth and Southeast Asia
DietCarnivore

House geckos are a common sight in tropical and subtropical climates. These lizards consume a variety of different insects, including ants. Geckos use their specially adapted tongues to lick up ants from the surface of the ground.

Related Article: Do Geckos Eat Ants?

17. Humans

Humans
Scientific NameHomo sapiens
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

While most people don’t consider ants to be a food source, there are some cultures that do eat ants. In fact, some estimates suggest that as many as one-third of the world’s population has consumed insects at some point in their lives. Insects are a good source of protein, and can be cooked in a variety of different ways or can be eaten raw for a source of protein.

Related Article: Are ants dirty?

18. Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider
Scientific NameSalticidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Jumping spiders are small spiders that hunt their prey by leaping on them. They are known to eat a variety of different insects, including ants. Jumping spiders have excellent eyesight and can leap up to 50 times their own body length.

19. Narrow-Mouthed Toads

toad
Scientific NameGastrophryne
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorth and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia
DietCarnivore

These amphibians eat ants, termites, and other small insects. They use their long tongues to capture their prey. Narrow-mouthed toads are found in Africa, Asia, and Australia.

20. Orangutans

Orangutans
Scientific NamePongo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSoutheast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra
DietOmnivore

Orangutans are primates that eat a variety of different foods, including ants. They use their long fingers to pick ants out of the trees and eat them. Orangutans also consume other insects, fruits, and leaves.

21. Pangolin

Pangolin
Scientific NamePholidota
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouthern, Central, and East Africa
DietCarnivore

The pangolin is a mammal that eats ants and other insects. They are one of the only mammals in the world that have scales on their bodies. Pangolins use their long tongues to capture ants, and they also consume termites and other insects.

22. Phorid Flies

Phoridae
Scientific NamePhoridae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Phorid flies are small insects that parasitize ants. The female fly lays her eggs inside an ant, and the larvae hatch and consume the ant from the inside out. Phorid flies are often found near ant nests, as they need ants to complete their life cycle.

23. Sloth Bears

sloth bear
Scientific NameMelursus ursinus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIndia, Sri Lanka, and southern Nepal
DietOmnivore

Sloth bears are another type of mammal that consume ants. They have long claws that they use to dig into ant nests and extract the ants. Sloth bears also eat termites, honey bees, and wasps.

24. Snails

Roman Snail
Scientific NameGastropoda
Type of AnimalGastropod
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Garden snails are omnivorous animals that eat both plants and animals. In addition to eating leaves, flowers, and fruits, garden snails also consume ants, slugs, earthworms, and other small invertebrates. Garden snails are a common pest in gardens and can cause damage to crops.

25. Sparrows

sparrow
Scientific NamePasseridae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorthern Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia
DietCarnivore

Sparrows are a type of bird that eats ants. They consume large numbers of ants, as well as other insects, to provide them with the protein and nutrients they need to survive. Sparrows are especially fond of army ants, which are known for their aggressive behavior.

26. Starlings

Violet-Backed Starling
Scientific NameSturnidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

27. Wrens

bird Wren
Scientific NameTroglodytidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada, West Indies, Central America, and South America
DietOmnivore

House wrens are small songbirds that consume a variety of insects, including ants. They forage for food in the understory and trees near their home and often store food in their nests to eat later. Wrens have short, sharp beaks that are perfect for tearing into insect exoskeletons.

Conclusion

Ants are an important part of the food chain and provide sustenance for many different species of animals. Some animals consume ants as a primary food source, while others eat them to supplement their diet or prey on them for defensive purposes.

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