[Wild England - an A-Z compendium of England's Native Wildlife logo]

Ants

printable page

We have over 40 species of ant in England and in our website we have described the Common Black Garden Ant, European Red Ant, and the Wood Ant. We will be writing about the Yellow Meadow Ant soon. All the above ants are the most common species found in our country

Ants are social insects (like some bees and some wasps) and are very common and widespread. They construct colonies (nests) and each colony has a precise and well-developed caste system. The caste system divides members of the colony with specific tasks so each colony has a Queen, many female workers, many soldiers and some males that reproduce. This complex social interaction has allowed ants to be one of the most successful of all the insect groups.

One example of this complex behaviour is seen every summer: the so called 'marriage flight' of the ant. On a warm summer evening large winged female queens and many winged males swarm from the nest and take part in a brief flight during which they mate. On returning to the ground the males die. The females shed their wings and crawl into safe places on the ground to hibernate for the winter. Some even return to the nest to hibernate. In spring the surviving female queen ants seek a suitable spot to start a new colony.

A All
Ant (Common Black Garden)

Ant (Common Black Garden)

The Common Black Garden Ant is a small insect that can often be found in gardens and this is why it has the name ‘Garden Ant’. It lives in a big colony called a ‘

READ MORE INFORMATION
Ant (European Red)

Ant (European Red)

The European Red Ant is a small insect also known as the European Fire Ant. It is an orangy brown colour and not red like its name suggests. It can be found throughout

READ MORE INFORMATION
Ant (Wood)

Ant (Wood)

The Wood Ant is also known as the ‘southern wood ant’ because it is mainly found in the south of England. It can be found in open woodlands in glades and sometimes

READ MORE INFORMATION
A All