The Most Popular Ant: A Ranking of the Beloved Insects

Choose the ant you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 1, 2024 05:47
Ant-icipate the excitement as we present the ultimate ranking of the most popular ants on StrawPoll! Have you ever wondered which ant steals the spotlight in the insect world? Well, now's your chance to make your vote count and, together, we'll uncover the reigning six-legged sensation. From the mighty army ant to the ingenious leafcutter, each species brings its own unique charm and fascinating facts. So, whether you're an ant aficionado or simply curious about the critters, join the swarm of voters, have your say, and see if your favorite ant emerges as the crowned queen! And if you think we've missed any ant-astic contenders, don't hesitate to suggest a missing option – the more, the merrier in this insect showdown. Let the ant-ics begin!

What Is the Most Popular Ant?

  1. 1
    This ant species is widespread across the world, and it is known for forming large colonies that can displace native ant species and disrupt ecosystems. Argentine ants are considered invasive in many regions, and they are notorious for being difficult to control.
    The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is a small, brownish-black ant species that is native to South America. It is known for being one of the most widespread and successful ant species in the world.
    • Scientific Name: Linepithema humile
    • Family: Formicidae
    • Average Size: 2.2 to 2.8 mm
    • Color: Brownish-black
    • Native Habitat: South America
  2. 2
    Carpenter ant (Camponotus spp.)
    Muhammad Mahdi Karim · GFDL 1.2
    Carpenter ants are known for their ability to tunnel through wood and cause structural damage to buildings and trees. They are also important in forest ecosystems as decomposers and predators.
    Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) are a genus of large ants known for their wood-excavating behavior. They are widely distributed and found in various habitats around the world. Carpenter ants are important decomposers in ecosystems and play a crucial role in breaking down decaying wood. They are known for their ability to cause damage to wooden structures, making them a significant nuisance in residential areas and buildings.
    • Size: Carpenter ants are relatively large, measuring between 6 to 12 mm in length.
    • Color: They can be found in various colors, including black, brown, red, or a combination.
    • Body: They have a robust and segmented body with a distinct head, thorax, and abdomen.
    • Antennae: Carpenter ants have bent antennae, which are typically longer than their body.
    • Nesting Habits: They construct nests inside wood, including trees, dead logs, and man-made structures.
  3. 3
    Fire ant (Solenopsis spp.)
    Stephen Ausmus · Public domain
    Fire ants are known for their painful stings and aggressive behavior. They are native to South America but have spread to many other regions, where they can cause economic and ecological damage. Fire ant colonies can contain millions of individuals, and they are known for their ability to survive floods and other natural disasters.
    The Fire ant, also known as Solenopsis spp., is a common name for a group of aggressive ant species found in various parts of the world. These ants are notorious for their painful stings and invasive behavior. They are called Fire ants due to the intense burning sensation one feels when stung by them. Fire ants are known for their distinctive reddish-brown color and range in size from 2 to 6 mm.
    • Common Name: Fire ant
    • Scientific Name: Solenopsis spp.
    • Color: Reddish-brown
    • Size: 2 to 6 mm
    • Habitat: Various habitats including urban areas, forests, and agricultural lands
  4. 4
    Leafcutter ants are known for their distinctive behavior of cutting and carrying leaves back to their nests, where they use them to cultivate a fungus that serves as their primary food source. Leafcutter ants can form massive colonies, and they are important in tropical ecosystems as herbivores and ecosystem engineers.
    The Leafcutter ant (Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.) is a type of ant known for its remarkable leaf-cutting behavior. These species belong to the family Formicidae and are found primarily in the tropical regions of South and Central America. Leafcutter ants are considered a keystone species, playing a vital role in the ecosystem.
    • Species: Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.
    • Habitat: Tropical regions of South and Central America
    • Behavior: Leaf-cutting
    • Social Structure: Highly organized colonies with different castes (queen, workers, soldiers)
    • Colony Size: Can reach millions of individuals
  5. 5
    Army ants are known for their nomadic lifestyle and large, predatory swarms. They do not build permanent nests but instead move from location to location, preying on other insects and small animals. Army ants are important in tropical ecosystems as top predators and as a food source for many other species.
    The Army ant (Eciton spp.) is a type of ant known for its exceptional social organization and aggressive behavior. It belongs to the subfamily Ecitoninae and is found in tropical regions of Central and South America. These ants are highly nomadic, forming large colonies that can consist of millions of individuals, making them one of the most populous ant species. They are renowned for their cooperative hunting strategies and organized raiding behavior, making them formidable predators in their habitat.
    • Scientific classification: Genus: Eciton
    • Habitat: Tropical regions of Central and South America
    • Colony size: Millions of individuals
    • Social organization: Highly organized, with specialized roles
    • Nomadic behavior: Constantly on the move to exploit resources
  6. 6
    Weaver ant (Oecophylla spp.)
    Didier Descouens · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Weaver ants are known for their ability to construct elaborate nests by weaving together leaves and other materials using their larvae as living glue. Weaver ants are important in tropical ecosystems as predators and as a source of food and medicine for humans.
    The Weaver ant (Oecophylla spp.) is a species of ant known for its unique ability to construct intricate nests using living tree leaves. These ants are commonly found across Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa. They are notable for their highly cooperative behavior and aggressive nature, making them successful territorial defenders.
    • Size: Approximately 5-8 mm in length
    • Color: Red or reddish-brown
    • Lifespan: Worker ants: 3-12 months, Queen ants: 1-20 years
    • Nest Construction: They weave intricate nests by pulling, folding, and gluing leaves together using silk produced by their larvae
    • Colony Size: Can range from a few hundred to several thousand individuals
  7. 7
    Pharaoh ants are small, yellow ants that are common in human habitats such as homes, hospitals, and restaurants. They are known for their ability to form large, interconnected colonies that can be difficult to control. Pharaoh ants are also vectors for disease and can contaminate food and sterile environments.
    The Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) is a small, yellow to brown ant species that is commonly found in various parts of the world. They are known for their ability to establish large colonies, which can quickly infest buildings and become a nuisance to humans.
    • Size: 1.5-2.0 mm
    • Color: Yellow to light brown
    • Colony size: Up to several thousand individuals
    • Nesting habits: Indoors, in warm and humid areas
    • Feeding habits: Omnivorous scavengers, feeding on a wide range of foods
  8. 8
    Bullet ant (Paraponera clavata)
    Hans Hillewaert · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Bullet ants are known for having one of the most painful insect stings in the world. They are native to Central and South America and are important in forest ecosystems as top predators. Bullet ants are also culturally significant to some indigenous peoples, who use them in initiation ceremonies.
    The Bullet ant (Paraponera clavata) is a species of ant known for its particularly painful sting, which is often described as being comparable to being shot by a bullet. It is primarily found in rainforests of Central and South America.
    • Scientific Name: Paraponera clavata
    • Common Name: Bullet ant
    • Family: Formicidae
    • Habitat: Rainforests
    • Location: Central and South America
  9. 9
    Odorous house ants are small, brown ants that are common in human habitats such as homes and gardens. They are known for their distinctive odor, which has been described as "rotten coconut." Odorous house ants are also vectors for disease and can contaminate food and sterile environments.
    The Odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile) is a small species of ant commonly found in households across North America. It is known for the distinct odor it releases when crushed, resembling the scent of rotten coconut. These ants tend to form large colonies, with multiple queens and thousands of worker ants. They are opportunistic feeders, consuming a wide range of food sources including sweets, proteins, and dead insects. The ant workers are small, measuring about 2.4-3.3 mm in length, and have dark brown to black bodies with shiny exoskeletons. They are capable of trailing and foraging over large distances, making them highly adaptable.
    • Scientific Name: Tapinoma sessile
    • Common Name: Odorous house ant
    • Size: 2.4-3.3 mm
    • Color: Dark brown to black
    • Odor: Rotten coconut-like scent
  10. 10
    Harvester ants are known for their ability to harvest and store seeds, which they use as their primary food source. They are important in arid ecosystems as seed dispersers and as a food source for other animals. Harvester ants can form large colonies, and they are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings.
    The Harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex spp.) is a genus of ants belonging to the subfamily Myrmicinae. They are widely recognized for their large size and impressive foraging behavior. Harvester ants are prevalent in arid and semi-arid regions across North and South America.
    • Size: Workers range from 6 to 10 mm in length
    • Color: Varies between species, commonly reddish-brown or black
    • Colony size: Can contain thousands to millions of individuals
    • Habitat: Found in open grasslands and deserts
    • Foraging behavior: Efficient seed harvesters and granivores

Missing your favorite ant?


Ranking factors for popular ant

  1. Species distribution and abundance
    A popular ant species should have a wide distribution and be commonly found in many different regions worldwide or within a specific region of interest.
  2. Social behavior and colony size
    Ants that form large colonies and exhibit interesting social behaviors are generally more popular among people, as they are more noticeable and fascinating.
  3. Interaction with humans
    Ant species that have frequent interactions with humans, whether positive or negative, also tend to be more popular. This includes ants that are commonly found in gardens, parks, and homes or ants that have a significant impact on agriculture, like leaf-cutter ants.
  4. Ecological importance
    Ants that play a crucial role in their ecosystems, such as seed dispersers or predators of harmful pests, are considered more popular due to their contribution to our environment.
  5. Aesthetic appeal
    The physical appearance of ants may also be a factor in their popularity, with visually striking or unusually brightly colored ants sometimes being more appreciated.
  6. Research and media coverage
    Ant species that are widely studied by scientists, such as the Argentine ant or the black garden ant, may become more popular due to increased awareness through research findings and media coverage.
  7. Cultural significance
    Some ant species may have cultural or historical importance within certain communities, which can contribute to their popularity.
  8. Economic impact
    Ant species that have a direct impact on human economies, such as the red imported fire ant, which causes damage to infrastructure and crops, may be considered more popular due to increased awareness and attention.
  9. Unique features or behaviors
    Ants that exhibit unique features, such as the ability to form bridges with their bodies or the spiny appearance of certain species, may be considered more popular because of their distinct attributes.
  10. Public perception and awareness
    Finally, the public's perception and awareness of different ant species play a significant role in their popularity. Some ant species may become more popular after being featured in documentaries, news articles, or online platforms.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular ant. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or ant is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 179 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each ant once every 24 hours. The rank of each ant is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular ant

Ants are among the most fascinating and diverse creatures on the planet. With over 12,000 known species, they are found in almost every corner of the world, from the rainforests of South America to the deserts of Australia. Ants are social insects that live in colonies, which can range from just a few individuals to millions of workers, depending on the species. They are known for their impressive teamwork, communication skills, and ability to adapt to a wide range of environments. In this article, we will explore the most popular ant species, their characteristics, and why they are so beloved by scientists and nature enthusiasts alike.

Share this article