Ant meals

Very fond of insects, sweet foods and seeds

There are many species of ants. Their favorite food varies according to the species. Sweet foods are very important for worker ants as sources of energy for outputting power and the protein of insect bodies is an important material for building up the ant's body.

Very fond of insects

In order to raise larvae, the protein of caterpillar body is essential. A small caterpillar is carried by holding it with the mandible. A large caterpillar is carried to the nest by dragging it or cutting it into small pieces.

Very fond of sweet foods

Ants are sensitive to the smell of sweet foods. Body fluids of caterpillars, the honey of flowers and sugar are carried by ants after sucking them into the crop*. Food such as cookies is carried to the nest after softening it with saliva or biting off a piece.

*See page 9 for an explanation of the crop.

Formica japonica dragging a green caterpillar

Formica japonica gathering around candy

Formica japonica carrying the head of a fly

Pristomyrmex pungens gathering around a watermelon