What Do Ants Eat?

Ants eat many different things as would be expected from a creature that to date has been categorized into over 12,000 species and colonised nearly every landmass on the planet. Yeah, that'll make you hungry, so ants have to eat!

And when ants do eat, it is not necessarily the picnic baskets you might have seen them carrying away in cartoons.

Some things found on the ant menu include small insects like flies and spiders.

Other ant edibles can include dead vertebrate animals, or even their own fellow dead ants or the eggs produced by the egg laying members of the ant colony.

One of the more interesting things that ants eat is what is refered to as 'honeydew'
it is not however the honeydew melon that may be familiar to us humans, but a substance produced by the aphid insect. Part of what makes this so interesting, is that the way in which this is done much like the way in which humans keep cows, goats, chickens for milk or eggs. The ant places the aphids somewhere in which they have something to feed on, the ants then stroke the aphids back, similar to a human milking a cow, when the aphid is stroked it produces the sweet substance known as honeydew which the ant we can only assume takes great pleasure in ingesting. Wow, ants were herding aphids when humans were still chasing wooly mammoths!

Ants eat so many things and because there are so many types of ants, it would be quite a task to make a definitive list of everything that ants eat. If you are curious as to whether or not a certain substance or food is eaten by ants or what a certain species of ant in particular eats, then leave a comment and I will do what I can to help you find out more about the eating habits of ants.


Sarah said...

wow! Interesting, I knew they ate picnic baskets, lol, but I didn't know ants ate such a wide variety of things. I makes sense they would have to eat such a variety given their huge numbers like you talked about in this post, and the ant facts post.

Peace Out! Homey!

Anonymous said...

Lol I just saw ants eat a dead spider I killed xD

Anonymous said...

studies have shown that ants don't eat anything, but drink it. they forage for food, and bring it back to the colony where the solid foods are fed to the larvae. the larvae are the only members of the colony who can digest solid food. the digestion of the solid food gives off a liquid. this liquid is what the ants consume.

Helen said...

Do ants eat electrical wiring in houses, and can they cause house fires?

Anonymous said...

but like can ants like survie with like jsut eating scrap from us like candy donuts and chips