Ants have bigger colonies based on hundreds or thousands of members working in a dedicated manner to ensure the colony’s survival. They can collectively fight to ward off predators like geckos.
Can Ants Kill Geckos? Ants can kill geckos for food and protection as their soft bodies are easy to devour because they also have the risk of attack from these geckos. Ants inject venom into prey bodies, causing fatigue, distress, lethargic behavior, and stumbling. Fire ants are deadly for them, and it is not recommended to feed live ants to geckos.
Geckos, or carnivorous lizards, are known to be the predators of live ants but can become prey if they attack a wrong mound, as some predatory species of ants can put them on a deathbed.
Ants can kill every organism threatening their colonies, and can possibly become a potential food source for them.
Why do ants kill geckos?
Ants look like harmless creatures due to their smaller bodies compared to other creatures in the world, but their strength, coordination, and large population make them powerful.
They can kill larger animals by swarming over their bodies collectively and stinging them repeatedly using a long stinger. It helps transfer the poison into the prey’s body or bloodstream.
These insects can also kill reptiles like lizards, snakes, bearded dragons, and geckos, which are commonly found in rainforests, deserts, and even human habitations.
These reptiles have the risk of attacks from them as leopard and rock geckos are adapted to eat live insects. They can interfere with mounds and become prone to dangerous attacks.
However, others avoid eating these insects due to their bad taste, as the presence of formic acid makes them distasteful to predators.
These can become a source of nutrition for ants as they provide good content of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins to insects when they bite for defense and kill them.
These usually become aggressive when they detect a threat in their surrounding areas after the entry of carnivorous lizards close to mounds and begin to swarm over their bodies aggressively.
So, this killing behavior is usually for protection purposes instead of nutrition, but these are good scavengers who eat their bodies after killing them.
How do ants kill geckos?
These insects have the potential to kill reptiles that are many times larger than these tiny insects, and their bodies can reach around 0.4 to 26 inches in length at different stages of their lives.
Their venomous stinger plays a role in killing the prey animals that are connected to the poison gland containing a large number of toxic chemicals or formic acid.
Accordingly, these inject formic acid into the prey’s body by piercing the soft skin having granular scales. This toxic material causes a burning sensation or severe pain in the geckos.
In addition, an allergic reaction can also occur due to the material’s increased toxicity, leading to immobilization, paralysis, and even death.
These bigger prey animals have their own defensive strategies to avoid deadly attacks from ants. They can run away by detaching their tails from their bodies when it gets captured by the predators.
However, a few geckos lose their granular scales to escape predators’ grasp. These cannot defend a swarm of ants stinging at once at different regions of their bodies.
Multiple poisonous stings can make them die within a short time as it leads to the entry of an excessive amount of formic acid, and it is not possible for them to tolerate deadly bites or stings.
What happens when ants attack geckos?
Venomous stings and painful bites from poisonous ants can make geckos feel lethargic as they cannot move properly due to severe pain and burning sensation.
Their desire to eat food and drink water decreases because they struggle with the deadly stings and survival. Some other common symptoms include fatigue and distress in prey.
You can find them stumbling or falling on the ground helplessly after getting badly injured because their sharp mandibles can break their soft skin layer.
It is challenging for these creatures to tolerate lethal attacks when a swarm of insects is against them in battle. However, they can manage an escape when only a few ants attack.
Moreover, a small group of workers based on almost 100 to 500 ants can kill large-sized carnivorous lizards, while only 30 to 60 ants can kill a 1 to 5-inch gecko.
What types of ants are deadly for geckos?
Some ant species do not have territorial nature and are less aggressive to the predators, providing a chance to an invader for attacking and killing their colonies.
However, a few are poisonous and aggressive by nature, responsible for dangerous bites or repeated stinging on predator bodies to make them die.
Fire ants are commonly found species in the wild environment and urban areas that can reach geckos or attack by perceiving them as a threat to their colonies.
Their swarming behavior can be deadly for geckos because they do not allow an invader to get escape from their swarm based on hundreds or thousands of members.
Moreover, these insects overwhelm the prey, bite with their strong mandibles, and break the skin. Dipping teeth in prey bodies can lead to serious injuries as their soft skin gets removed.
In contrast, a few species are non-toxic and smaller enough to cause injuries because their small teeth and non-toxic stings cannot do much harm to these carnivorous lizards.
Can you feed geckos with ants?
Some species of geckos eat insects, and their diet includes crickets, ants, worms, and even locusts, while others consider ants not safe and avoid eating them.
You have to know the species before feeding because leopard geckos can die if you introduce live ants in their cage. These insects can make them sick by continuously biting their bodies.
In contrast, crested and rock geckos can eat and digest these tiny insects as they are efficient predators. They can catch these insects from the ground and swallow them alive.
The carnivorous lizards belonging to the genus Pristurus are fond of eating tiny insects and getting nutrition from them. Ants are the primary source of nutrition for those belonging to this genus.
So, it is not considered suitable to feed lizards that are sensitive to these insects, but you can feed dead insects to them as there are no safety risks associated with dead ones.
These dead insects cannot bite or sting their bodies and help avoid undesired allergic reactions.
How do you keep ants away from pet geckos?
It is better to keep deadly ants away from the pet reptiles, mainly if the fire ants make their way through the vivarium to reach these creatures.
The presence of water, fresh vegetables, and dead insects in the gecko cage can lead to the entry of insects inside because these tiny creatures are usually looking for food and water source.
Moreover, some people feed their pets with insects without knowing their aggressiveness, which can lead to deadly attacks on their geckos.
So, it is better to know the species of these carnivorous lizards before feeding live ants to your pet because a few species of these insects have predatory and aggressive natures.
In addition, you can use sticky material like oil or Vaseline around the vivarium to make the surface slippery for them to climb.
A double-sided tape on the outer surface of the vivarium can also work to keep them at a distance.
Use ant traps and cinnamon sticks to capture or repel the insects for better control, as the sticky material is effective only until they remain sticky.