Ants have six legs and two antennae, and are a kind of tiny insect with three separate body parts. Ant species may also be dark brown, tan, or red in color, and black ants are the most frequent type. Swarming ants may acquire wings in some cases. The majority of ants, however, are tiny Creepy Crawlies that walk around.
Social insects that dwell in huge colonies include tiny ants and huge ants. As a result, if you see a few ants in your home or garden, you can assume that there are hundreds of ants nearby. Ants may be a bother in your home or garden. These little insects may bite through wood, electrical cables, and insulation and may forcefully sting people.
This page contains all the information you need to identify the most common sorts of ants that might come across at home or in the yard. Being aware of how to get rid of the little crawling pests can aid you recognize which ant species you have.
How to Identify Ants
The color, size, and body form of an ant are all used to identify it. The head, thorax, and abdomen are the three body components of ants. They have three pairs of legs. Some ants feature enormous, spherical heads with a narrow thorax. Some ants have common names that describe their appearance and behavior.
Little odorous ants, black household ants, tiny black ants, crazy ants, and white-footed ants are just a few examples of ant species whose common names aid in their identification.
Types of Ants With Pictures and Names — Identification Guide
Let’s explore the distinguishing traits of several ant kinds in depth.
Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
The pharaoh ant is a tiny, light brown or orange-yellow ant that can become a big problem in buildings. Here’s a close-up picture of it. The ant is 0.078 inch (2 mm) long and lives in warm climates. The ant has two distinct club antennae and a enormous black bulbous abdomen.
Pharaoh ants have several red-colored queen ants per colony and reside in vast colonies. Ants can infest wall voids, furniture, and under floors and consume sugary and greasy foods. Pharaoh ants may be killed by an ant bait made up of 1% boric acid and sweet water, according to legend.
Pharaoh ants have a huge ball-like blackish abdomen and thin, light brown, almost transparent bodies.
Small Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)
The little odorous house ant is black or brown and ranges from 0.06″ to 0.12″ (1.5 mm) in size when crushed. The ants’ abdomen (gaster) and thorax are so tightly connected that it’s easy to identify them. The abdomen seems to be pointed downward as a result of this feature.
Honeydew, which is a common symptom of aphids on houseplants or garden bushes, is often consumed by odorous house ants. Keeping vegetation and plants away from buildings is the best way to prevent odorous ants from invading homes. Because of the unpleasant stench they emit when crushed, the little smelly house ants are known as that. For the same reason, these little black ants are referred to as stinky ants.
The oval abdomen, triangular head, and segmented antennae distinguish the brown odorous house ant.
Black Household Ant (Ochetellus glaber)
Depending on the species, the little black household ant may be black brown or jet black. The length of black house ants ranges from 0.08 to 0.11 inches (2 to 3 mm). Ants have yellow legs with curving antennae. The black ants have wrinkles on their face and huge compound eyes, which can be seen up close.
You may frequently find these common household invaders in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room because they eat sweet liquids. Honeydew, nectar, and other insects are all eaten by the ants outdoors. In Florida and other southern states, black ants are common.
With a slender thorax, small waist, and huge abdomen, the black household ant is a tiny ant that can be brownish-black or dark brown in color.
Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)
The little black ants, which measure 0.04 to 0.078 inch (1 to 2 mm) long, are commonly seen in dark areas of the home and garden. The two-segmented waist (pedicel), clubbed antennae, stinger, and ball-like shiny black abdomen distinguish this little black ant.
The medium-sized colonies of tiny black ants live together. Throughout the United States, especially in California, little black ants may be found. Little black ants live under logs and mounds of bricks in yards, where they hide in the shadows. Little black ants may be found in wall voids, behind baseboards, or in masonry cracks.
The glossy black skins, club antennae, and tiny size of little black ants are all indicators.
Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus)
Carpenter ants are big black ants that may damage wooden furniture and buildings, ranging in size from 6 to 13 mm. The bodies of the huge black ants are striped and have white hairs. Ants have six brownish-black legs attached to their thorax and elbowed antennae, which are unique to them.
Carpenter ants excavate dead trees, which earned them their name. Unfortunately, over time, the destructive black bugs may cause structural damage by damaging furniture. Reduce humidity and keep moist wood away from buildings to prevent a carpenter ant invasion.
With a dull black body, fuzzy abdomen, and smooth thorax, the black carpenter ant is a big ant.
Pavement Ant (Tetramorium)
Many species of pavement ants exist. Tetramorium caespitum, a common dark brown ant that can sting humans, is shown in the photograph. A rounded head, an oval brown abdomen, and a stinger distinguish the slender brown ant. Because of their tiny size, these little brown insects are difficult to observe at 0.1″ (3 mm) long.
Pavement ants prefer to live under sidewalks, driveways, and patios and thrive in sand and soil. Pavement ant nests may be found in basements of homes. Unfortunately, getting rid of the brown bugs is difficult since ants prefer to nest underground.
The dark brown to black body of a pavement ant, as well as its head and thorax’s distinctive ridges and tiny hairs, distinguish it. The brown ant has a stinger at the end of its tail, according to photos.
Black Garden Ant (Lasius niger)
This tiny black insect is found all over the globe and measures roughly 0.2″ (5 mm) in length. The typical garden ant has identifiable upright hairs on its antennae and upper leg pieces, which may be dark brown in color. Moreover, around their abdomens and a thin waist, certain black ants have a faint stripe.
You will likely come across the black garden ant on your lawn. Male flying ants have been known to enter houses on rare occasions. This may entice additional ants to come foraging for sweets.
A thin waist connects the thorax to the black, bulbous abdomen of the common black garden ant, which has six dark brown legs.
Banded Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus)
The banded sugar ant has a light-colored rusty brown band around its abdomen and lives in woods and houses. It is rather big. The big brown ant has a glossy black triangle head, an egg-shaped brown and black abdomen, and coppery-brown legs that range from 0.2 to 0.6 inches (4 to 16 mm). Australia is home to the banded sugar ant. Sugar ants may be found nesting under shrubs, dead wood, and in the soil, as well. Ants of both colors may build above-ground nest mounds.
The rusty brown band on a banded sugar ant’s black abdomen seems to be a band. The ant’s head is black, and its legs are brown.
Yellow Meadow Ant (Lasius flavus)
The yellow meadow ant is a tiny, yellowish-brown ant that feeds on aphids and honeydew, measuring 0.78″ to 0.15″ (2 – 4 mm). The head, thorax, and abdomen (gaster) of the meadow ant are yellow, with the edges becoming darker. The antennae are capped with a three-segmented club and have 12 segments.
Yellow meadow ants prefer to nest beneath rocks or slabs and are not particularly aggressive. Since they prefer to feed on honeydew, these tiny yellowish-brown ants defend aphids. When they make a soil dome for a nest, you may see them in gardens.
The egg-shaped yellowish abdomen of the yellow meadow ant has fine setae (hairs) at its tail end, and it is identifiable by its yellowy-brown color.
Fire Ant (Solenopsis spp.)
The fire ant is a small, stinging red ant that may be found all over the United States. A copper-brown head and thorax, as well as a dark red abdomen, distinguish the nasty small red ants. They also feature two ten-segmented antennae with two-segmented clubs. Ants smaller than 0.8 inch (2 mm) are referred to as tiny red ants.
Texas, Alabama, and other southern states are home to fire ants. The sting of the little fire ants, which is similar to that of being burnt by fire, is notorious. When disturbed, red fire ants may attack by nesting in the soil or dome-shaped mounds.
The reddish-brown color, two black eyes, extremely thin thorax, and huge reddish-brown abdomen distinguish the little red fire ant from other species.
Crazy Ant (Paratrechina)
The little dark brown to black ant with white setae and extremely long antennae known as the long legged crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis) is shown in a magnified photo. These ants have an unevenly rounded thorax and are 0.9″ to 0.11″ (2.3 to 3 mm) in size. The erratic, quick movements of tiny crazy ants are well-known.
In Florida and the Gulf states, crazy ants are a common tropical ant species that can be found outdoors. In temperate regions, however, the reddish-brown crazy ants cohabit with you. As a consequence, they pose a major threat to the health of households and eat food, fruit, plant honeydew, and seeds in many regions. Getting rid of these ants can be challenging.
A lengthy pair of antennae, brownish-black color, and thin legs with few hairs distinguish a crazy ant from other ants.
Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum)
The ghost ant’s dark brown head and beige transparent abdomen distinguish it from other species of ants found in Florida. The dark brown head and thorax, as well as the pale translucent abdomen with faint dark patterns, distinguish the ghost ant. These tiny ants, which range from 0.05 to 0.08 inch (1.3 to 2 mm) in length, are difficult to see.
In Florida, Texas, and the United States, ants are a common household pest. Ants are ubiquitous house invaders that may be discovered in kitchens, bathrooms, and other humid areas. If the weather permits and moisture is available, they will nest outdoors but may forage indoors.
A little brown ant with a yellowish belly, milky white antennae, and six transparent legs is recognized as a ghost ant.
Red Wood Ant (Formica rufa)
The red wood ant creates massive nests in the woods, with a black thorax, black and red head, and lengthy black legs. This little black and red ant species is between 0.17 and 0.35 inch (4.5 to 9 mm) long. Antennae of red ants are short and elbowed.
The ants are found in deciduous woods across the United States and are also known as thatching ants, wood ants, mound ants, and field ants. Little ants build enormous ant mounds, which may be several feet high. Ants are significant in forest management because they feed on aphids.
A reddish-brown head and thorax, a dark brown or black abdomen, and black legs distinguish the small red wood ant. Since they appear in large numbers, red ants are easy to spot in forests.
Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)
The Argentine ant is a tiny, brownish-colored ant that measures 0.06 to 0.11 inches (1.6 to 2.8 mm) in length and may be a serious household invader. Between the abdomen and thorax, as well as two bands over the abdomen, the light to dark brown ant has a unique node. The tan legs and segmented antennae of the Argentine ant are another features.
Invasive ants, as well as a major pest in cities, are Argentine ants. During dry or hot weather, the pesky insects invade houses and feed on food in the kitchen. Hundreds of these brown ants may be seen scurrying across the floor at times.
Little, light to dark brown ants with 12-segmented clubless antennae and small, black legs are known as Argentine ants.
Leafcutter ants, which include over 40 ant species and chew leaves with their mandibles (mouthparts), may be found from South and Central America to the southern United States. The way hundreds of ants carry leaf pieces in line one after the other is a common identifying feature of leaf-chewing ants.
Leafcutter ants may be serious agricultural pests in certain areas. For example, it takes less than 24 hours for certain species to strip citrus trees bare. The red ant Atta sexdens has a wide, rounded head, a thin thorax, and a short, spherical abdomen. The red ant is 0.04 to 0.08 inches (1 to 2 mm) long and is reddish in color. The heads of the largest red leafcutter ants may be up to 0.11 inch (3 mm) broad.
Red Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus)
The red harvester ant has a rounded, bulbous abdomen and an extended thorax, making it difficult to distinguish from fire ants. These 0.19 to 0.27 inch (5 to 7 mm) long copper-brown ants are huge. Fine setae on the back and abdomen, small black eyes, and red elbowed antennae are all identifying characteristics of harvester ants.
Red harvester ants are frequently misidentified with other fire ants because of their crimson color. Harvester ants are a common species in Texas, as well as other states in the United States and Canada. These ants rarely sting, despite their red color.
With two 12-segmented antennae and fine hairs on its head, the red harvester ant is a huge reddish-brown ant. The massive, mounded nests of red ants stand out against the backdrop of a landscape.
White-Footed Ant (Technomyrmex albipes)
The white-footed ant is a tiny black ant with six black legs and creamy-white tips that may be found both in the forest and at home. The ant’s length is usually 0.08 to 0.16 inch (2 to 4 mm) in diameter. The white-footed ants have two 12-segmented antennae, five abdominal segments, and tiny setae on their backs that identify them.
White-footed ants are commonly mistaken with insane ants because they resemble Argentine ants. Throughout Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina, the black and white ant is widespread. When it enters indoor areas, it is considered a pest.
The thorax, abdomen, and head of the white-footed ant are all black. Its legs are white, and its head is egg-shaped.
Pyramid Ant (Dorymyrmex bureni)
When crushed, the pyramid ant emits a strong stench and has club-less antennae, no sting, and a slender build. The ant is not considered dangerous. When crushed, it, on the other hand, produces a strong coconut odor. Ants range in size from 0.8 to 0.16 inches (2 to 4 mm).
Unlike red fire ants, pyramid ants are common in Florida and do not qualify as aggressive ants. Instead, little reddish-brown ants reside in sand mounds and eat honeydew, other insects, and live outside.
The pyramid ant has six thin orange legs, a 12-segmented antennae that lacks a defined club, and a pyramid-shaped protrusion on the thorax.