8 largest ants in the world

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Ants are one of the most common insects on earth. They found almost everywhere, except to the Arctic regions have not yet reached, and coexist quite well with man. People for them are a source of food, so ants often settle in private and apartment buildings, “stealing” sugar from their owners, cereals and other food products.

For man, an ant is primarily a pest. These insects damage not only stocks, but also furniture, walls, nibble the roots of agricultural plants and unpleasantly bite when tactile contact. And they are small and almost ubiquitous.

More precisely, only those living in close proximity with human ants. Worth getting out the boundaries of the city – and the “lumps” are turning into very large insects. And in the southern regions they are able to grow up to 2-3 centimeters in length.

And about them – the largest ants in the world – and this will be discussed the material. It remains to be rejoiced that only 2 out of 8 species live in Russia and the CIS countries.

Rating of the largest ants in the world

Nomination a place name Length
The largest ants in the world 8 Black Woodbearing Ant (Camponotus vagus) 15 mm
7 Black Bulldog Ant (Myrmecia pilosula) 16 MM.
6 Red-chested Wood-Ant (Camponotus herculeanus) 20 MM.
5 Bullet Ant (Paraponera clavata) 25 MM.
4 Camponotus gigas 28 MM
3 Dorylus nigricans 30 MM.
2 Dinoponera giant (Dinoponera gigantea) 33 MM.
1 Myrmecia brevinoda 36 MM.

8th place: Black wood-ant (Camponotus vagus), up to 15 mm

Rating: 4.3

Black woodbearing ant (Camponotus vagus)

One of the largest ants among those found on territories of Russia and neighboring countries. Males of this species grow up to 15 mm in length. The distribution area extends beyond most of the central territory of Russia, but also European countries, as well as the Caucasus, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan and even Turkey

However, meet this ant even strolling along the forests where it lives can be quite difficult. In some regions, the species is recognized as endangered and is listed in the Red Book. In part massive deforestation has also affected this, leading to a reduction in insect habitat.

Justifying its name, the black wood-ant almost completely painted black. Only the end of the abdomen can be a bit lighter. On the back of his body he has reddish hairs. Like other species of ants, the black carpenter there is a noticeable dimorphism depending on gender and specialization. So, males and females are winged and able to fly, and here the workers are very small (about 3 mm in length) and no matter what sawing rotten stumps are not capable.

The name of the species also reflects a lifestyle. Insect prefers arrange anthills in the remnants of wood – stumps that have fallen trunks, branches and dead plants. Deep into the forest they are not climb, preferring to settle on the outskirts. Most often an insect can be found on glades warmed by the sun, old clearings and clearing.

7th place: Black Bulldog Ant (Myrmecia pilosula), up to 16 mm

Rating: 4.4

Black Bulldog Ant (Myrmecia pilosula)

One of the largest Australian ants. Females (winged individuals whose task is to spread the population) are capable of grow to 16 mm in length. Meets all representations of fauna Australia – poisonous, aggressive and scary.

The black bulldog ant is one of the most dangerous insects in the principle of creatures of Australia. Statistical Medical Research 2003 show that from the bites of these arthropods annually more people die than from shark, snake and spider attacks together taken. The black bulldog ant is poisonous. A stung place (yes, he has there is also a sting) it hurts for a long time. And 3% of those bitten have anaphylactic shock leading to death.

In addition to large sizes, the black bulldog ant also differs aggressive color. Most of the body – the head, chest and abdomen – dark. But the antennae, paws and sting are painted yellow. Thanks this insect is easy to recognize and distinguish from less dangerous ants.

Black Bulldog Ant – An aggressive insect with excellent vision Able to determine production at a distance of several meters, and then get to her in long jumps. In one jump the insect is able to overcome up to 10 cm. The basis of the diet is smaller arthropods and flower nectar.

Finding an ant hill can be quite difficult. Some the “bulldog” colonies prefer to live underground, breaking through multi-level systems of tunnels, walkways and cameras. Entrance to such there is only one underground city, and in case of an attack from the enemy quickly shut up by some stone. At the same time, others the colonies are building the already familiar above-ground anthills having the form hill with a diameter of up to 1 meter.

6th place: Red-chested wood-ant (Camponotus herculeanus), up to 20 mm

Rating: 4.5

Red-chested wood-ant (Camponotus herculeanus)

The largest ant found on the territory Of Russia. Winged females and males flying from the “nest” and spreading the population, are able to grow up to 20 mm in length. AND here the other representatives of the colony are somewhat smaller, especially workers.

Red-chested woodbearing ant, also called “giant” (which is reflected in the name) is found almost throughout territory of the country. Its range also covers several European states and ends in Western Siberia (Trans-Urals). In contrast from the black “comrade”, is not particularly rare, so it can be found in almost any deciduous or coniferous the forest. At the edge.

Corresponding to its name, red-chested wood-ant almost completely painted black with chest “cherry” shade. The paws also look bright thanks to the red tint hips. On the stomach – short reddish hairs. Flying males and the females are not so brightly painted – no red spots on their the body is not, it is all black.

For humans, the red-chested wood-ant is not dangerous. Having grown a nest, you can get off with just a few bites (the insect does not have a sting, but it is nevertheless squeezed by chelicera skin capable of). Any serious consequences after contact with Camponotus herculeanus was not seen.

Like the black “comrade”, the red-chested wood-ant resides on the edges of forests, lawns, clearings and other old clearings. Prefers to settle in dead trees – fallen trunks, stumps, even deadwood. During the construction of the anthill gnaws at long, smooth tunnels with intricate wood branched system with numerous inputs, outputs and additional cameras. Sometimes this insect harms logging – for example, settles in stacked firewood and grinds them to an inappropriate condition.

5th place: Ant-bullet (Paraponera clavata), up to 25 mm

Rating: 4.6

Ant Bullet (Paraponera clavata)

Another very dangerous – and at the same time very large – ant. Females and males of Paraponera clavata grow to 25 mm in length. His the name was given to the bullet ant because of the strongest poison which in action surpasses the poison of other nonlethal arthropods – bees and wasps.

The poison of a bullet ant consists of neurotoxins that possess paralyzing and inhibitory effect. After a bite, the pain lasts a day. Thanks to the long sting (almost 3.5 mm), the ant introduces poison deep beneath the skin. Schmidt sting force scale pain from bites this insect is at a higher level and stronger than after “contact” with wasps of the genus Pepsis, also called “hunters for tarantulas. “Well, or more than 2 times” more powerful “than from a hornet.

Fortunately, meeting a bullet ant is quite difficult. First turn, because he lives in the lowlands of South America – Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and other countries. Some the researchers also met an insect in the mountains – but only in the form of individual specimens, not colonies.

Coloring of ants depends on habitat and specialization specific insect. It can be either dark brown, practically black, with a slight olive tint; or red, closer to red. A distinctive feature is the bright yellow stripes on the front legs, characteristic of all insects in the colony.

Because of the extremely painful, but almost non-fatal poison A bullet ant is used by Brazilian aborigines to conduct rites of initiation. In a ritual, living insects are tied to a special glove, which is then put on the subject’s hand on 10-15 minutes. All this time the ants sting the initiate. because of so many bites in the “victim” there is temporary paralysis, and then for several days the sensitivity of the fingers disappears. A task ritual – the initiation of boys, their transition into adulthood and becoming real warriors.

4th place: Camponotus gigas, up to 28 mm

Rating: 4.7

Camponotus gigas

Camponotus gigas (Russian official name for this species no) – the largest ant in Asia. Found in Thailand Indonesia and parts of Malaysia. Individual instances of this insects grow up to 28 mm in length.

Despite its impressive size and dangerous color, Camponotus gigas is not dangerous to humans. The bulk of the ant’s diet makes up the so-called “sweet liquids” – fall aphids and other Diptera insects. In addition, the insect eats small invertebrates, mushrooms and bird droppings. Symbiosis between ants and aphids, as happens with Russian and European species, Camponotus gigas not observed.

Camponotus gigas is almost completely black except the abdomen and hind legs – they are reddish. Also the stomach in which stores the collected nectar and other foods translucent – and therefore glows when the insect is illuminated by rays the sun.

An interesting feature of Camponotus gigas is the polydomy – a colony of ants lives not in one anthill, but in several, united by a system of moves. Insects settle in piles deadwood and old, rotten trees. Anthills are located on up to 2.5 meters above soil level – this helps protect against flooding and natural enemies living on earth – and distant 15-20 meters apart. The composition of the “complex” may include up to a dozen “houses”.

3rd place: Dorylus nigricans, up to 30 mm

Rating: 4.8

Dorylus nigricans

West African nomadic ants Dorylus nigricans (this species also does not have an official Russian name) – one of the largest insects on the continent. And let the workers constituting the basis of the colony, not too large – from 3 mm, – migratory males are able to grow up to 30 millimeters in length. Females can be even larger – isolated cases encounters with insects up to 50 mm in length.

The nomadic ants Dorylus nigricans are discreetly painted. And the workers, and soldiers, and even females with males – everything is dark brown, practically black color. Chitin is mostly brilliant, only on the head and the abdomen is matte. Interestingly, males have darkened, veined wings not characteristic of other species of ants.

Dorylus nigricans ants are poisonous, but not too dangerous for person. Seeking medical attention or deaths after a bite, these insects were not recorded.

Unlike many species of ants, Dorylus nigricans lead nomadic lifestyle. They don’t build permanent anthills, preferring to do with temporary bivouacs. Carnivores in the diet termites and other small invertebrates are included. Colonies of Dorylus nigricans, roaming from one termite to another, are capable of destroy a fairly large number of these insects. Besides, these ants do not disdain carrion and can “ruin” human landfills.

2nd place: Dinoponera giant (Dinoponera gigantea), up to 33 mm

Rating: 4.9

Dinoponera giant (Dinoponera gigantea)

The dinoponerus giant, also called dinosaur ant – one of the largest representatives of the family. Working individuals of this species grow up to 33 millimeters in length.

There is a giant dinoponero exclusively on the territory South America. Most of the colonies live in Amazonian rain forests of Brazil, but also individual populations were found in Peruvian savannah. In addition to large sizes, practically nothing stands out – even the color is uniform, black and glossy, no distinctive features.

For a person does not pose a danger. When threatened, the ant may biting using their chelicera, but their strength is not enough having to cut through the skin. Sting or poison glands in dinoponeri giant no.

Interestingly, the giant dinoponeros do not have a queen female. Males there is. An ant propagates with a “use” of gamergat – that is, working individuals who have genitals and hormones. Almost every member of the family is capable of reproducing.

Partly because of this mechanics of dinoponerus reproduction, the giant lives in very small colonies, numbering only a few dozens of individuals. The anthill is located underground, on average, on 40 centimeters deep, and consists of 5-10 chambers connected passages.

1st place: Myrmecia brevinoda, up to 36 mm

Rating: 5.0

Myrmecia brevinoda

View Myrmecia brevinoda (also does not have an official Russian name) refers to the so-called “primitive ants.” Representatives of this family are some of the oldest insects on the earth. This is partly why they are so large size – working individuals of Myrmecia brevinoda are able to grow to 36 mm in length.

Myrmecia brevinoda was endemic to the eastern and southern regions Australia, until I met people. Human ships transported females and males – by chance, not purposefully – also into the territory New Zealand, where the ant liked the climate and conditions existence. So now this species can be found on the island where the Lord of the Rings was filmed.

Myrmecia brevinoda is not dangerous to humans. The ant has developed sting and large chelicera, however its poison is harmful does not have an effect. So the bites are painful, but not extremely and without dangerous consequences. Yes and Myrmecia brevinoda easy to find out – the ant is large, lean and brightly colored red-brown color. Black glossy abdomen stands out against the background the rest of the body. The ants have a large head and huge (in comparison with other insects) eyes, however, no evidence visual acuity similar to that of a bulldog ant was not obtained It was.

Myrmecia brevinoda builds anthills in the form of hills whose height up to 70 centimeters. The “population” of the colony, however, is not very large – the most registered population is 2.5 thousand individuals. As a result, the anthills remain unallocated space that other species quickly populate ants, as well as the larvae of various insects.

Working individuals of Myrmecia brevinoda are divided into two groups. Large specimens (up to 36 mm in length) settle at the upper levels anthill and are engaged in the extraction of food – plant and animal. Small individuals (from 13 mm in length) are placed below. Their task is dig the ground under the anthill, creating a complex system of moves.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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