Do you know that they are some animals that eat ants? To answer your question, what kinds of animals snack on ants? Reading this essay will introduce you to the world of insectivorous animals.
Ensure you read on to the very end of the blog post, as there are some very intriguing lines toward the bottom that disclose the identity of the animals that consume ants.
Animals That Eat Ants?
Do you know any animals that eat ants? Keep reading to know animals that eat ants.
1. House Geckos
Common in homes in warm climes, these geckos are beneficial. Ants are a favored diet of these little predators.
All gecko species are ant eaters, but this is the most common one you’ll come across.
Not only do geckos enjoy a good meal of ants, but they will munch on just about any insect they can get their sticky little paws on.
Consequently, they are an excellent method of natural pest control; if you notice them in your home, you should leave them alone.
Read also: Do Ants Drink Water
As its name implies, aardvarks are the African equivalent of anteaters. They resemble a chimera of an anteater and a pig, and they’ve achieved a certain level of notoriety.
African mythology is rife with aardvarks, and the titular character of the animated series Arthur is an aardvark (even though he does not look anything like one).
Cucumbers are the only non-insect food that aardvarks will consume besides termites and ants.
Curiously, cucumbers are the only type of fruit eaten by aardvarks. Aardvark cucumbers are a special variety favored by these creatures.
Antlions, often known as doodlebugs, resemble miniature versions of monsters from science fiction and horror films.
Antlions, and their larvae, in particular, are one of the largest predators of ants all around the world. Famous for digging pits in which to wait for their prey, they prefer to do so underground.
Those unfortunate ants that happen to fall into the pit will rapidly find themselves imprisoned in the strong jaws at the bottom.
Although antlions are extremely widespread, most people never get to see an adult. Adult antlions resemble long dragonflies in appearance and are nocturnal.
Furthermore, their brief adult lives contribute to our familiarity with their larval stage.
Read also: Do Ants Have Eyes?
Pangolins resemble an anteater/armadillo hybrid in appearance. They have thick scales covering their entire bodies, long tails, and small snouts that house long, sticky tongues.
It’s common for them to specialize in always one or two kinds of ant, and each person has their particular tastes.
Poachers pose a threat to pangolin populations across their African and Asian ranges because of the widespread use of pangolin body parts for medicinal purposes.
5. Honed Lizards
Honed lizards are a well-known species of lizard found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are sometimes known as horny toads or horn toads.
Because of their spiky bodies, most people automatically assume that these little reptiles are herbivores, but the truth is that they are insectivores, and they prefer ants over other insects.
The diet of the largest lizard species, the Texas Horned Lizard, consists of 70% ants and 30% termites.
When threatened, many species of horned lizards can release a jet of blood from their eyes. Chemicals with a bad odor are added to the blood to keep it from attracting a predator.
A wide variety of invertebrates, including ants and termites, have been reported in the stomachs of orangutans. On multiple occasions, primates were observed using a stick or other tool to harvest ants or termites from a nest.
Orangutans are a critically endangered primate species only found in the tropical forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia.
Read also: How Many Ants Are In The World?
Wrens make up a sizable family of birds that are primarily found in North America. All are insectivores, with ants constituting a staple food item.
These birds, being small and swift, are perfectly suited to catching swarms of ants.
Wrens can be found all across North and South America, and they can adapt to virtually any environment.
One of the most widespread bird families in the New World, and thus one of the most widely overall predators.
8. Leaping Spiders
A jumping spider’s not nearly as terrifying as other types of spiders. They’re so adorable that certain people would even refer to them as such.
A colony of ants, though, might disagree. Some species of jumping spiders rely almost exclusively on ants for nutrition.
Their tiny stature, sharp eyesight, and agile jumping make them deadly ant predators.
Over 13% of all spider species are jumping spiders, making them the most common type of spider. They don’t make webs like most spiders but instead use their speed and good vision to actively hunt for food.
Interestingly, in some parts of the world, humans eat ants regularly. While most of the world views insects with distaste, there are many societies where insects, such as ants, are regarded as a staple cuisine.
In Mexico, you can find fried or chocolate-covered ant snacks at select bars. It is possible to find dried or roasted ants often spiced with chili powder, sold in the form of chips in various American supermarkets.
Read also: How do ants find food?
10. Massive Anteater
One of the most well-known animals is the Giant Anteater. Of course, this isn’t the only kind of anteater, but it certainly is the most well-known.
Their sharp claws are adapted for ripping up tough termite mounds, thus despite their name, they like munching on termites just as much.
South America is where you’ll typically find an anteater’s natural habitat. Anteaters catch the ants and termites they eat with their long, sticky tongue and swallow them whole since they have no canines.
11. Fire Ants
Ants, and especially fire ants, are notorious predators of other ant species.
In fact, in regions like the southeastern United States, where they have no natural predators, non-native invasion fire ants are swiftly wiping out the native ant populations.
Although they originated in South America, fire ants have become a serious problem in the United States because of their introduction here.
They’re hostile toward humans, territorial, and quick to attack (just ask anyone who lives in the Southern states).
12. Sloth Bear
The sloth bear, in contrast to certain other species whose entire diet consists of ants and termites, needs a wider variety of insects to stay alive. They supplement their diets with fruit, carrion, and even small mammals.
The sloth bear, found in its native Nepal and India, is the most insectivorous bear breed.
The enormous claws on their feet allow them to easily dig up anthills, adding to their reputation as adept ant hunters.
Sparrows, unlike some other species, are widespread and can be found practically anywhere, including in your garden.
They eat a variety of insects, including ants, although grains make up the bulk of their diet. Sparrows are great for keeping pests at bay in your garden.
14. Venomous Snakes with No Eyes
Found instances of blind snakes are unusual. Its diet consists nearly entirely of ant and termite larvae, and it is virtually always to be found in underground environments.
They use their scent glands to locate ant nests, where they devour as many eggs as possible.
15. Narrow-mouthed Toads
There are numerous populations of narrow-mouthed toads across the globe, although they are most prevalent in Asia, North America, and Africa.
These toads, as their name implies, have incredibly slim jaws. Because of their tiny lips, ants and termites make up the majority of their diet.
They may readily snag a mouthful of ants thanks to their forward-facing eyes.
At this point, you have learned about many animals that feed on ants. You probably already know that ants are ubiquitous and that many different species rely on them for sustenance.
I sincerely hope that this article has been enlightening to you. However, do you know any other animals that eat ants apart from the ones listed above? It will help us serve you comprehensive information by letting us know in the comment section.