ANTS – Hymenopteara: Formicidae

pastel drawing of ant, urban ant
  • William

    As for there being no true solitary ant, twice in the last week I discovered a solitary ant guarding a small clutch of eggs in a little hollow under an object on the ground. Same ant species both times, no other ants around, no hills, no holes. This is in the SW of WA state.

    • yoyogrow

      I have seen a few alone too, but never guarding anything. Well certainly he/she will have a lot of friends when the eggs hatch 🙂 One of the things that was really interesting to me with the 2nd type/batch of ants that came to live on my balcony in pots was that they did not live in the dirt, only in the empty pots and they gathered under a bin where my dogs toys are kept outside. They were storing crumbs and other food there (although I dont know how they will survive the winter when it comes?) I am a little curious if the solitary ants appeared to be a normal size ant or could they have been the queen? Since they are also very rarely alone, I hope that it does not mean that they are having problems like the bees, snakes, bats and other species that are dying off in droves.

  • obnga

    Solitary ants really don’t exist; however, there is a close relative of ants called velvet wasps. They are just wingless wasps. They look very similar to ants, but do not form colonies.

    • yoyogrow

      obnga – thanks for the comment. I never heard of the velvet wasps before. So if anyone wants to know more about velvet wasps, check out this link here.

      This spring there have been a ton of ants. I know this since disturbing them while reworking the layout this spring. They were thriving in the soil, which suffered some neglect. The whole garden suffered neglect due to some severe weather extremes (winter 2011-2012 and summer 2012) combined with 2 full years of large construction projects directly across from me. A lot of plants died.

      The little guys were angry when I was moving stuff around, and a couple got in my garden glove when moving dirt and their strong jaws were felt on my flesh. For such little creatures, they really are powerful.