Many people cannot detect the presence of ants on your body as these tiny creatures have lower body mass until they do not move or bite you. Ants are present in large numbers compared to humans, but their total weight is less due to their smaller size.
How Much Do Ants Weigh? Ants weigh 2 to 5 mg on average, while queens can reach 7 to 10mg, but a few ant species are more than 100 milligrams due to their larger size. The caste, age, diet, and physical activities determine their weight. For example, Pharaoh ants are the lightest, while Dinoponera ants are the heaviest ants.
Lighter bodies of ants make them strong enough to carry even 100 times their body mass.
It reduces the effect of gravity, and the lesser force of attraction allows them to load heavy particles.
How much does an ant weigh?
The average weight of ants varies according to their species and caste in a colony. Therefore, some of their species are larger and heavier than smaller ones.
Black carpenters or Camponotus pennsylvanicus are heavier than pharaoh ants as their workers weigh around 5 milligrams (0.000005 kg), while the latter ones are almost 0.5mg (0.0000005 kg).
Moreover, red imported fire ants or Solenopsis invicta are 2 to 6 mm long and weigh around 3mg (0.000006615 pounds), which is equal to that of crazy ants having 3 to 5 mm longer bodies.
The black pavement (Iridomyrmex bicknelli) and red velvet ants (Dasymutilla occidentalis) are almost 1.5 mg and 6 mg. The red velvet species have longer bodies, extending 16 to 20 mm.
Furthermore, the Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) are also lightweight insects as they have almost 1mg body mass. However, bull ants are heavier than other species.
So, you can find a variety of sizes and weights in different species of these insects due to differences in dietary habits and habitat.
Examples of ants with their body weight in milligrams, kg, pounds, and body size
|Type of ants
|Body Weight (mg)
|Body Weight (Kg)
|Red imported fire ants
|2 to 6 mm
|1.8 to 2.2 mm
|Black carpenter ants
|7 to 12 mm
|Banded sugar ants
|4 to 15 mm
|3 to 5 mm
|1.5 to 2.5 mm
|Black garden ants
|3.5 to 6 mm
|Red velvet ants
|16 to 20 mm
|Black pavement ant
|2 to 5 mm
How many ants are in one pound?
A large number of ants can be in one pound of weight due to their small body size. For example, there are almost 453.592 grams and 2.2kg in one pound, while these insects are only 2 to 3mg by weight.
Almost 453592 mg make up one pound, which means 151,197 ants can weigh around 2.2kg or 1 pound.
They have a lower body mass, and millions of these insects are required to make up equal to that of humans as they are nearly 60 kg on average.
Furthermore, the population of humans is lesser than that of these insects, but they are heavier; that’s why their total mass is almost 480 million tons, and ants are 2.2 to 2.5 million tons.
What are the lightest and heaviest ants?
Ants have varying sizes and body weights, as some are light due to smaller body sizes, while a few can reach the maximum on the measuring scale.
Monomorium pharaonis or Pharaoh ant is known as the lightest on the planet with only 0.5mg body weight due to its smaller size, as it can reach up to 2.2 mm in length.
It has tiny black eyes and legs, while its bodies appear yellowish brown. Their queens can reach almost 3 to 6 mm in length, are slightly heavier than workers, and survive for nearly a year.
Their dietary habits rely on proteins, fats, and primarily sugary foods providing sufficient carbohydrates and adding good mass to their bodies.
The Dinoponera ants are the largest and heaviest species that weigh around 80 to 90 mg. It can grow to almost 4 to 5 inches in length, which equals 102 to 127mm.
It is a South American ant that can cause a painful bite, but no cases of death are reported. It is commonly found in the rainforests of Brazil and Guyana.
However, other common household species have maximum body lengths of almost 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50mm), making them lighter than Dinoponera.
Their queens are almost 120 to 150 milligrams because they are bigger than workers and weigh more than other colony members.
In addition, these insects store food in their abdomens, adding weight to their body mass and making them look chubby. Honeypot ants store honey in the abdomens, resulting in body swelling.
What factors determine ants weight?
The weight of ants depends on different factors, including genetics determining their size, as larger ones usually have more body mass.
The largest Amazonian ant is the largest species and weighs almost equal to the heaviest one. Similarly, a caste of insects and physical activities directly impacts their body mass.
The workers are usually lighter as they perform heavy tasks and keep moving in their life because they have to collect food and shift colonies.
However, the males and queens are bigger and heavier than the workers as they are larger in size. Therefore, they do not perform any activities except mating and remain inside the nest for most of their lives.
On average, the weight of workers is almost 2 to 5 mg, while males and queens are 10 to 50mg. Furthermore, diet also plays a crucial role as a good diet based on carbohydrates and fats.
The workers take care of the nutrition of larvae, queens, and males because they are responsible for colony survival. Malnutrition in queens and males can affect their abilities to mate.
In the same way, larvae cannot grow properly in the absence of good food as they need protein-rich for development. In addition, they do not have good body weight if their muscles do not grow well.
Any fluctuations in environmental conditions like diet, temperature, and physical activities can affect their body mass.
Additionally, genetic factors like caste and size are also involved in their bringing variations in the body heaviness of colony members and species.