How Much Can An Ant Carry- All You Need To Know About It !

how much can an ant carry

We all have seen a huge line of ants carrying a particular thing while moving uniformly. Witnessing this is enough for you to wonder how much can an ant carry. Additionally, you must also be thinking about how can these tiny creatures be so strong. Well, nature has its own way of working. God has blessed each and every organism with some special capabilities that differentiate them from other species. The same goes for these tiny little creatures as well. They are very smart organisms who possess incredible capabilities. 

Well, to discuss the same, we decided to formulate a dedicated blog on ants. Apart from their ability to carry/lift weights, we will also discuss various other things about them. 

How much can an ant carry?

As per various studies, an ant can carry around 10 times to 50 times more than their actual body weight. However, this is an answer which is based on general observation. An ant’s ability to lift/carry weights depends upon various other factors. These might include their overall strength, the category/species to which they belong, their health, and their body type. All these factors will combine to determine how much can an ant carry. 

Different categories of ants possess different features and capabilities. As a result, the natural strength of an ant will directly vary depending on which category it belongs to. Hence, let us further discuss some ant categories for further clarification. 

Different Types of Ants!

Were you aware of the fact that there are more than twelve thousand species of ants in this entire world? Yes! You read it right. There are various categories/types of ants that belong to different species. Additionally, all of them possess some unique and additional features that differentiate them from other categories of ants. 

Listed below are the names and features of 25 different categories of ants that might or might not be of the same species. 

Ant Name Species  Description/Features of this particular species
Argentine Ants Linepithema humile These are the most common species of ants which can be seen in this entire world. Being dark brown in color, these ants are known for the development of extensive ant colonies. They are not very strong and do not cause any severe harm to human beings and other organisms.  
Carpenter Ants  Camponotus spp. Carpenter ants are usually found in dense forests. As their name suggests, they are experts in excavating wood. They further use the hollow space to build their colonies.
Fire Ants  Solenopsis spp. As the name suggests, ants belonging to this particular species are fire. They are just like the naughty kids in a classroom. One can be found in every class. Similarly, these ants are also present worldwide. Painful stings and building large mounds are two of their main specialties.
Pharaoh Ants Monomorium pharaonis The ants that you see in your home/building are most probably the pharaoh ants. They are generally yellow in color. These ants are very fond of creating large groups and colonies. However, they do not cause any significant harm to people.
Driver Ants Dorylus spp. Driver ants are only found in African regions. It is believed that these ants have an amazing heat tolerance capacity. On the other hand, they live and hunt in groups. They have a high level of aggression and usually prefer attacking in groups. 
Bull Ants  Myrmecia spp. Bull ants belong to a family of Australian descendants. This means that these ants belong to the Australian nationality. They are aggressive and possess a strong sting, which can further lead to the development of skin issues and infections. 
Bullet Ant Paraponera clavata If you are someone who lives near the Central or South American Rain forests, beware of bullet ants. They have a fantastic power of sense, along with a potent sting that can cause immense pain and deep wounds. 
Weaver Ants Oecophylla spp As the name suggests, weaver ants are known for creating complex nests. They produce silk through their larvae. They further use this silk along with different leaves to build beautifully complex nests. 
Weaver Ants Polyrhachis spp. The Polyrhachis spp. species of weaver ants is indeed the most aggressive ant category. They were first noticed in America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. However, it is believed that they have vanished from America and Africa. Just like all other weaver ants, these ants also build nests by using silk and vegetation present around them.
Weaver Ants  Camponotus spp. The Camponotus spp. species of weaver ants are a bit different from other weavers. They love to build nests, but they also believe in teamwork. As a result, a large quantity of ants is employed in building massive nests with silk and leaves.  
Garden Ants Lasius spp. This is the most sweetest/friendliest as well as the calmest species of ants. Being garden ants, they are usually found in parks and gardens. Additionally, they do not like to remain in larger groups. Hence, colonies created by garden ants are comparatively smaller than other ant colonies.
Velvet Ant Mutillidae It is still not clear whether this Mutillidae species belongs to the category of ants or bees. This confusion is because they look like ants but can fly as well. Keeping these facts aside, velvet ants have a great amount of soft hair on their bodies, which is more or less similar to the velvet fabric. 
Leafcutter Ants Acromyrmex and Atta spp. Found in the tropical regions of this world, these ants were named on the basis of the activities they perform. Their main aim is to cut different leaves to further acquire food from them. 
Bulldog Ants  Myrmecia spp. Bulldog ants and bull ants belong to the same family. They are like cousins to each other. Hence, the bulldog species of ant possess exactly the same features as bull ants. 
Army Ants Dorylus spp. The Dorylus spp. species of army ants have been usually noticed in various regions of Asia and Africa. They are group hunters who usually destroy their prey in a few seconds.
Army Ants Eciton spp. Ants belonging to this particular species are nomadic ants. These ants raid in large groups. They are known for destroying everything and everyone that comes their way. 
Asian Weaver Ant  Oecophylla smaragdina The species of weaver ants found in Asia is not just any other weaver ant. Being a descendant of weaver ants, they possess all the similar qualities. But, the different part about these ants is they are very possessive in nature. They attract aggressively in almost every situation. The aggression increases even more when someone disturbs their territories. 
Argentine Ant Linepithema humile This is just another basic category of household ants that can be noticed in every part of the world. However, these ants originally belonged and have evolved from the southern part of America. 
Harvester Ants Pogonomyrmex spp. This specific species of ants is very different from the other ones. They love to collect and store seeds. However, their sting has the power to give you deep wounds if you go near their collected seeds. 
Trap-Jaw Ants Odontomachus spp. The Odontomachus spp. species of the trap-jaw ants are expert in tightly trapping the prey in their jaws. They possess an exceptional power of sense along with the strongest jaws. Hence, it is impossible for trap-jaw ants to miss their prey. 
Yellow Crazy Ant Anoplolepis gracilipes Yellow Crazy Ants are descendants of the crazy ants and the pharaoh ants. Hence, they possess qualities of both. In comparison to other ant species, yellow crazy ants have a lot of hair on their bodies. Also, they are known for forming massive colonies, known as supercolonies. 
Acrobat Ants Crematogaster spp. You will be surprised to know why this species of ants is named acrobat ants. These ants do not cause any harm when disturbed. But, they are experts at dealing with every problem that comes in their way. Acrobat ants are capable of keeping their abdomen on their head in case they sense danger or are disturbed. 
Amazon Ants  Polyergus spp Amazon ants are the only ant species known as thieves. This is because they do not create their own colonies. Also, these ants do not hunt for food. Instead, they invade in colonies made by other ants. Also, they are known for stealing the food and blood collected by other ants. Their huge groups and aggressive behavior force the original owners(ants) to leave their food as well as their residence. 
Sahara Desert Ant  Cataglyphis spp This Cataglyphis spp. species is only found in the Sahara Desert and the areas near it. These tiny creatures can easily tolerate excessive heat. Additionally, they can also survive without food and water for a long time. Also, they possess incredible navigational skills. Hence, they are able to survive and make their way out of very extreme situations. 
Crazy Ant Nylanderia spp As the name suggests, this species of ants is actually crazy. They are very calm ants who turn into aggressive monsters on being disturbed. Additionally, these ants are known for their speed. From moving from one place to another, making colonies, and hunting their prey, the crazy ant groups do it all within no time. 


Some interesting facts and features about these tiny creatures!

You just learned an interesting fact about ants related to how much can an ant carry. Also, you got to know about various species of ants. But, irrespective of the category they belong to, these tiny creatures naturally possess a lot more qualities. They are highly adaptable and efficient organisms. Hence, let us learn a few more interesting facts about ants. 

  1. Socially active creatures

Just like human beings, ants are highly social creatures. This is because they never live individually, and always prefer living in gracious. Due to this, they build colonies so that all of them can stay at a single place. Just like it happens in our families, different members of the ant family are given different roles and responsibilities. 

  1. Division of work

As already mentioned, ants are given specific roles. They are further responsible for their actions. However, the ant family follows a specified hierarchy. The female head ant is considered to be the Queen. They are further divided into male and female, old and young, etc. They are further given different roles and responsibilities based on their qualities and expertise. 

  1. Chain of communication 

Irrespective of their tiny size, ants possess very powerful capabilities of sense. They have incredibly strong communication skills, which help them in sending and receiving messages from other ants. The communication process in ants takes place by utilizing pheromones. They are basically a type of chemical signal that ants can understand and identify. Ants further use these pheromones to convey messages to their teammates, sense danger, locate food and water, and identify their family members. 

  1. They fall in the category of supraorganisms

It is a very well known fact that ants, bees, wasps, and termites, fall under the category of supraorganisms/superorganisms. Ants are very diligent and hardworking creatures. Most of them usually prefer living and working in large groups. May it be the task of collecting food and blood, creating massive colonies, reproduction, etc. they do it together. Also, they form various large groups for the accomplishment of various tasks at the same time.

  1. Born predators

Due to their tiny size, you might assume that ants are always the prey who get caught by the predators. But this isn’t the case. Instead, ants are born as/fall under the category of predators. This is simply because ants display aggressive hunting and capturing qualities. They aim and hunt organisms that are smaller than them. In some rare cases, ants were noticed hunting and capturing organisms that were five times bigger than them. Ants formed a massive group to accomplish this task. 

  1. Seed dispersing and other agricultural practices

Ants, unknowingly, carry different varieties of seeds from one place to another. They further dig holes and bury those seeds to keep them safe and secure. Well, doing all this makes them natural seed dispersers. Hence, these tiny organisms significantly contribute to plant and forest regeneration. Also, ants perform various other agricultural tasks. Apart from the dispersion of seeds, these practices include the distribution of nutrition and aeration by digging holes. 

Winding up 

Ants are highly social superorganisms that are blessed with incredible strength and exceptional capabilities. Additionally, they are present in different types and categories. Hence, how much can an ant carry can also specifically depend on the category it belongs to. But, the only thing common in all ant species is they are very strong and can lift a lot of weight. Also, they are survivors who contribute a lot to the Mother Nature. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How much can an ant carry? 

Ans. Irrespective of their species and category, all ants have a lot of strength. Every ant on this planet is capable of carrying/lifitng around somewhere between ten to fifty times more in comparison to their body weight.

Q2. How do ants contribute to the overall environment and various agricultural practices?

Ans. Ants are very fond of and known for collecting different types of seeds. They further carry the seeds to different places and bury them in the ground. This is their way to keep their things/food safe and secure. However, this seed further leads to the regeneration of plants and forests. As a result, ants unintentionally act as natural seed dispersers. 

Q3. What is that one quality that differentiates the weaver ants of Polyrhachis spp. species from the other ones?

Ans. Just like all other ants belonging to different species, weaver ants are also very strong, powerful and smart. Additionally, all categories of weaver ants are known for creating beautiful yet complicated nests with silk, leaves and other vegetation. But, when it comes to aggression, weaver ants from the Polyrhachis spp. species are always on the top. This is because they are the most vigorous category of ants which display breath-taking aggression when disturbed or bothered. 

Q4. How do ants carry a thing/object that weighs more than their lifting category?

Ans. As we all know, ants are socially active organisms who live and hunt in groups. If they have to lift an object that is very heavy and exceeds their lifting capacity, they prefer creating a small group. They communicate using chemical signals, determine how many ants will be sufficient to carry that particular thing, formulate a group and further carry that thing to the desired location. 

Q5. What specialty do the acrobat ants from the Crematogaster spp. species possess?

Ans. As the name suggests, acrobat ants from the Crematogaster spp. species are the most flexible and active ants. In case they sense any danger or are being disturbed, they lift their abdomen on their head to get past the problem. Due to this reason, they are the only ant category that can change its size and continue to move, irrespective of the space available.