What Do Bulldog Ants Eat?

Largely found in Australia, Myrmecologists, or scientists that study ants, generally categorize the bulldog ant as the most primitive in its species; the bulldog ant resembles a wasp without wings. Bulldog ants have 1-inch bodies, long legs, superior vision and venomous stings. These ants are fast and aggressive and often hunt alone. They drink the liquid of small insects and honeydew found on various plants from other insects.

  1. Diet

    • Bulldog ants eat small insects, fruit, seeds, fungi, gum from a gumtree and honeydew. Honeydew is a dewy saccharine substance either deposited by other insects onto leaves and plants or exuded from the plants themselves. Bulldog ants drink this nectar.

    Hunting

    • Bulldog ants are solitary hunters. They use their large mandibles to hold their prey steady before subduing them with their venomous stingers. The stinger of the bulldog ant is located in the ant's abdomen and is laced with formic acid. Bulldog ants are such aggressive hunters, they are known to sometimes pluck their prey from the sky. Their stings can also cause anaphylactic shock and even death in humans.

    Feeding Habits

    • While adult bulldog ants drink juices from insects and plants, they drag the remainder of the insect back to the nest to feed their larvae. Forager ants in the colony will regurgitate fluid food to feed to other members of the colony. Food is also stored within chambers of the nest.

    Habitat

    • Bulldog ants build their colonies underground. They are very territorial and will attack any foreign object or insect that comes near their nests. Because they have exceptional vision, they can track intruders from 1 meter away. The entrance of the nest is often hidden or very small with a complex system of chambers and gallows deep underground.

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  • Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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