Insects That Eat Ants

Insects That Eat Ants
••• Saurav Karki/iStock/GettyImages

Ants are insects that live and work in colonies, usually underground in dirt anthills. According to Pest World, there are over 12,000 different species of ants and these insects can lift 20 times their own body weight. Among ant predators, there are many insects that eat ants. Though ants are often seen as pests to humans, to many insects, ants are seen as a delicious and nutritious meal.

Ant-Eating Spiders

Many spider species eat ants whenever they can grab them. The Black Widow, Jumping Spider and the Lynx spider are a few species that prey on ants. Most spiders weave webs from spider silk to trap prey. When an ant is caught in the web, the spider feels the vibration from the ant struggling and will go to feast on their meal. Other spiders hunt for ants by laying in wait for their pray and then jumping on top of the ant to kill it.

Flying Insects

According to the University of Texas, a species of fly called the phorid fly specializes in laying its larvae inside the bodies of fire ants. The larvae hatch and then eat their way out of the ant, killing the ant in the process. Because the phorid fly reliably preys on fire ants, this species of fly is often used as pest control to get rid of, or control, the population of fire ants in a particular area, according to the University of Texas.

Antlions and Doodlebugs

Among the more oddly-named bugs that eat ants, antlions prey heavily on ants, making them metaphorical "lions" among ants, according to the Antlion Pit website. Antlions in their larva stage are also called doodlebugs because they leave designs that look like doodles in the sand as they dig pits used to trap ants and other insects to eat. Adult antlions look similar to dragonflies, but with shorter, clubbed antennae. Adult antlions are rarely seen in the wild because they are only active at night.

Other Ants

Often times, ants will eat other ants of different species. Fire ants, for example, will raid the nests of smaller ants. In response to this, some species of ants that belong in the Pheidole genus have developed defense systems against these raids. The Pheidole ants will go out and kill the fire ant scouts. If that method fails, the ants will abandon their nest before the fire ants can attack and steal their brood.

Related Articles

Wasps That Fly at Night
How Do Ants Protect Themselves?
Why Do Wasps Swarm?
Natural Predators of Wasps
List of Insects That Eat Dead Flesh
Ant Adaptation
How Do Spiders Mate?
What Are the Predators of the Wolf Spider?
What Eats Cockroaches?
Ants of Ohio
Identification of Wasps
How Does an Ant Colony Operate?
How to Identify Mason Wasps
What Do Owls Eat?
Meet Ophiocordyceps, the Fungus that Turns Ants Into...
When Do Hornets Come Out?
Things That Eat Wasps & Bees
The Tiny Black Ants That Bite
What Eats Boxelder Bugs?
What Happens when a Queen Bee Dies?