How Much Do Ants Weigh?
Countless species of ants are found worldwide. They range in size from 1 millimeter to 30 millimeters. The smallest ants weigh a tiny 1 milligram.
Scientists have estimated that there are over 13,000 different species of ants. The most common species weigh less than 10 milligrams. The largest species weigh up to 150 milligrams. These include African wandering ants and the South American ant.
These species are very strong for their size. They can lift more than 20 times their own weight and even up to 50 times. They have powerful muscles that can produce more force per milligram than other animals.
Ants live in colonies that can consist of thousands of workers. The workers do heavy lifting in the colonies. Some species can have over one million ants in the colony. They communicate with each other using sounds and touch. Ants have two antennae on top of their heads.
They excavate 13 tons of soil on an hectare of land annually. These ants increase local nutrient availability. They also transport larvae across water barriers.
Some ants carry loads up to 20 times their own weight. Other ants carry loads up to 50 times their own weight. Some of the heavier species can lift as much as forty lighter ants together. The African wandering ant has a robust uterus.
Scientists have estimated that the total biomass of ants in the world is approximately 12 million tonnes. This is nearly as much as the biomass of wild birds and mammals combined.