Which Ants Have Stingers in Their Body?

Many people are aware of the ant stings in addition to their painful bites. Ants use this to inject the poison when they fight.

Which Ants Have Stingers in Their Body? Almost 65 to 70% of the ant species have stingers in their bodies, including fire ants, harvester, black, oak, army, bulldog, velvet, pavement, and bullet ants. It helps them to fight by injecting poison into the attacker’s body. However, leafcutter, weaver, crazy, and carpenter ants do not have stingers.

The average size of the stinger is 0.1 to 0.2mm, but a few species possess a longer one that can extend to almost 8 to 10mm.

What type of ants have stingers in their bodies?

Most commonly, ants have a stinging organ at the end of their abdomen that can help them inject poison from venomous glands directly into the predator’s body. 

Around 65 to 70% of these insects get benefit from this organ in killing the prey to consume as food, as a few of these insects are carnivorous and prefer dead insects and animals.  

Fire ant

This species is known for aggressive behavior, as its primary response against threats is to sting an attacker and kill it to create discomfort. 

It injects toxic chemicals into the predator’s blood, leaving them in severe pain. They are also named so due to their venomous injection that causes a burning sensation. 

Moreover, the extent of pain depends on the amount of venom injected into the skin tissues.

As a result, the feeling of discomfort, redness, and swelling takes almost 2 to 7 days to disappear completely. 

Harvester ant

It is responsible for allergic reactions due to injecting poisonous chemicals deeper into the skin as they practice reverse barbs. This can cause breakage of the organ within the organism.

Moreover, it uses mandibles to get hold of the prey’s body and inject toxic formic acid into it simultaneously to kill the victim quickly. 

The venomous material contains alkaloid poison, amino acids, and proteins, which can initiate a chemical response after entering the bloodstream.

The painful sensation begins to fade within 4 to 5 hours, but swelling takes a few extra hours to disappear completely.

Black ants

They have black shiny bodies, extend to 3.5 to 5mm, and possess a stinger at their abdominal end. However, they are not dangerous as their stinging organ is smaller in length than others. 

Moreover, they are known for severe bites, leaving swollen and red spots on prey’s skin. However, it cannot enter deep into the skin tissues and cause mild pain and temporary redness.

The formic acid in the poison gland is not highly toxic, making them less harmful species in the house. They are only responsible for annoyance by causing contamination of food. 

Oak ant

Camponotus quercicola primarily lives in the oak trees of Californian forests. They can also become indoor pests if you have oak trees in your garden. 

It possesses a stinger and injects it into the victim to release a poisonous chemical into its body and cause paralysis resulting in slow movements. 

In addition, the victim cannot show active movements and dies at the same spot in a few seconds as the pain is difficult to tolerate. 

Army ant

They are known to fight as they have to face threats due to continuous movement and changing of nest locations. Therefore, they do not build a permanent nest and keep moving.

They have larger mandibles and an organ for stinging in the caudal region inside the body. Their diet is based on smaller animals like frogs and birds in addition to insects or other ant species.

These species are commonly present in Africa, having the potential to eat larger organisms like scorpions and snakes, and even a human cannot get escape from them. 

Bulldog ant

These are the deadliest species on the planet that are present in different regions but are commonly found in Australia. They take only a few minutes to make their enemies die. 

They have been recorded for their dangerous stings, as they can bite while transferring venom to the prey. In addition, it is extremely aggressive, having no fear of humans while attacking.

Moreover, it can kill a victim in less than 10 to 15 minutes as it captures them with powerful mandibles and thrusts the long injector into the skin tissues with good force.

Velvet ant

They are commonly known as cow killers because their stings are supposed to be painful enough to kill a large cow. Female workers possess this organ, which is located at the end of the body. 

It can efficiently fight for defense and attack multiple times when it feels a threat in its surroundings. It appears soft and velvety, but it can give a tough time in a fight. 

They are almost 0.75 to 0.80 inches long and are known to have the longest stinger among all species, which is almost 3.5 to 12.5mm in length, and cause death within 25 to 30 minutes. 

Pavement ant

These are known to be peaceful creatures and do not bite or sting unless you step forward to interfere in their activities. 

These species do not like injecting poison and leaving mild skin bite marks.

The colony workers possess this abdominal injector that can penetrate the skin layer and cause severe reactions when the prey’s body reacts to the foreign proteins inside the blood.

In addition, they can cause itching and form blisters on the skin that can be avoided by frequent washing with tap water. However, they are known to cause severe harm like other fellows. 

Bullet ant

They are widely known for the extremely painful stings that can put a victim in a state of utmost pain for a whole day. It feels like a bullet enters the skin when they inject acid into the prey. 

It is not possible to resist death when a swarm of these insects attacks a single prey because it feels like all of them are firing collectively with a common goal. 

They can reach almost 1 inch in length and possess a poison injecting organ which is connected to the poison gland. Its painful effect remains for nearly 22 to 24 hours.

How many times can ants use their stingers? 

Ants have the potential to sting their prey and even predators multiple times without dying. They maintain a grip on the victims after latching using hooked claws. 

It helps them avoid falls when the victim moves around in pain and tries to remove these tiny creatures. After that, they will pierce through the skin using their sharp barb.

Accordingly, the poison gets transferred from the venom gland to the prey, which will become part of the blood. This toxic material can be injected many times depending on its strength.

Most commonly, these insects can sting 6 to 8 times in a sequence without any pause and target the bitten area. 

Sometimes, it can lead to breakage of the stinger when they are repeatedly inserting it inside the body, and the broken part is left inside the skin and causes pain.

Which ants have no stingers in their bodies?

A few ant species do not possess stinging organs in their bodies and rely on their larger mandibles or jaws to bite the predator while fighting for their defense.

Most commonly, the leafcutter and carpenter ants are known for biting as they cannot sting. However, they are not considered friendly species because they can still bite you hard.

The weaver ants are known for painful bites and spraying their venom on the prey’s body to paralyze and restrict its motion, but they do not have a functional stinger.

The crazy and sugar ants also lack this organ, use their mouthparts for defense, and leave bite marks on the skin that are somehow painful.

In addition, the argentine ants are peaceful creatures as they do not sting and bite and prefer to leave the dead spot when they detect a threat in the surroundings.

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