The North American continent hosts close to 1,000 ant species. These ubiquitous insects are diverse in appearance and lifestyle; they can be as small as a pinhead or as large as a paper clip. Their colonies may have only a few individuals, or a million or more.

While people may think of ants as pests, only a few of our species infest homes or cause problems for agriculture. On balance ants are beneficial insects, playing vital ecosystem roles aerating soil, recycling nutrients, and serving as predators or prey in the great fabric of nature.

Below is a gallery of ant genera found in North America north of Mexico. This page is a work in progress. While I have photographed the common genera and many of the rare ones, I am still adding new ones. Thus, if you are using this page to assist in ant identification, be aware that more possibilities exist than just those pictured here.

Acromyrmex- leafcutter ants

Desert southwest, locally abundant (1 species)


Acropyga


Desert southwest, rare (1 species)


Anochetus- small trap-jaw ants

Introduced to isolated locations in South Florida (1 species)


Aphaenogaster

Widespread and abundant across North America (~30 species)


Attaleafcutter ants

Common in Texas & Louisiana, rare in Southern Arizona (2 species)


Brachymyrmex – rover ants

Widespread across North America (5 species)


Brachyponera – needle ants

Pachycondyla chinensis 2

One invasive species spreading rapidly in eastern North America.


Camponotus - carpenter ants

Widespread and abundant across North America (~50 species)


Cardiocondyla

Sporadically introduced to warmer regions across continent, inconspicuous (~10 species)


Cephalotesturtle ants

Locally common in southern Arizona, southern Texas, and southern Florida (3 species)


Crematogasteracrobat ants

Widespread and abundant across North America (~30 species)


Cyphomyrmex- small fungus-growing ants

Southeastern North America across to California, locally common (4 species)


Dorymyrmexcone ants

Abundant in warmer regions across North America (~20 species)


Forelius

Abundant in warmer regions across North America (~5 species)


Formicafield ants, thatch-mound ants

Widespread and abundant across North America (~100 species)


Formicoxenus- guest ants

Widespread but uncommon across cooler regions of North America; inhabit nests of other ants (5 species)


Hypoponera

Common but inconspicuous from the southeastern United States to California (7 species)


Labidusarmy ants

Locally common in South Texas (1 species)


Lasius

Widespread and abundant across North America (~40 species)


Leptogenys

Leptogenys elongata

Locally common in gulf states (3 species)


Leptothorax

 

Leptothorax

 

Common in colder climates across northern North America and mountainous regions in the west (~10 species)


Linepithema - Argentine ant

Introduced to warmer regions across continent, abundant in urban California (1 species)


Liometopum – velvety tree ants

Common in southwest and along west coast (3 species)


Monomorium

Widespread and abundant across North America (~15 species)


Myrmecocystushoneypot ants

Ubiquitous in the arid west, absent elsewhere (~30 species)


Myrmecina

Widespread in forested regions across continent, locally abundant to uncommon (2 species)


Myrmica

Widespread and abundant in cooler regions of North America (~70 species)


Neivamyrmexarmy ants

Southeastern United States across continent to California, uncommon (~25 species)


Neoponera – tiger ants

neoponera

Common in far south Texas (1 species)


Nomamyrmextank army antsNomamyrmex

Uncommon in south Texas (1 species)


Nylanderiasmall crazy ants

Widespread across continent (~20 species)


Ochetellus

One species introduced in Florida, locally common.


Odontomachustrap-jaw ants

Common in gulf states west to Arizona (5 species)


Pachycondyla – huntress ants

Pachycondyla harpaxLocally common in Louisiana and Texas (1 species)


Paratrechinablack crazy ants

Introduced to warmer regions and cities across continent (1 species)


Pheidolebig-headed ants

Abundant in warmer regions across North America (~100 species)


Platythyrea

South Texas and southern Florida, uncommon (1 species)


Pogonomyrmexharvester ants

Abundant in western states, one species in Southeast (25 species)


Polyergusslave-raiding ants

Parasitic on Formica; widespread and locally common across North America (~5 species)


Ponera

Common in eastern forests (2 species)


Prenolepisthe winter ant


Common across continent (1 species)


Proceratium

In forests from Texas north to Illinois and Massachusetts with one species in coastal California, rare (8 species)


Pseudomyrmexelongate twig ants

Abundant in warm to subtropical regions across the continent (10 species)


Pseudoponera – stigma ants

Florida and the gulf coast states, locally common but cryptic  (1 introduced species)


Solenopsisfire ants, thief ants

Widespread and abundant across North America; the imported fire ant S. invicta is omnipresent in the Southeast (~40 species)


Stenamma

Common but inconspicuous across continent (20 species)


Stigmatomma - dracula ants


Across North America, uncommon (3 species)


Strumigenys- miniature huntress ants

Common but inconspicuous in warmer regions across continent, especially in the Southeast (~45 species)


Tapinoma

Widespread and abundant across North America (5 species)


Technomyrmex – white-footed ants

2-3 species introduced to subtropical regions & greenhouses, locally abundant.


Temnothoraxacorn ants

Widespread and abundant across North America (~50 species)


Tetramorium

Several introduced species abundant across continent; Southwest hosts two native species (10 species)


Trachymyrmexfungus-growing ants

Arizona across southeastern N.A. to Long Island, locally abundant (9 species)


Veromessor – harvester ants

Common in western North America, especially California (9 species)


Vollenhovia

One introduced species spreading across Atlantic states.


Wasmannialittle fire ants

Introduced to peninsular Florida, common (1 species)


Xenomyrmex

Peninsular Florida, uncommon (1 species)