North American Ants

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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)


Desert southwest, rare (1 species)

Anochetus- small trap-jaw ants

Introduced to isolated locations in South Florida (1 species)


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)


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

Cephalotesturtle ants

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

Colobopsis – cork-headed ants

Southeastern states westward to Arizona, sporadically encountered (5-10 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)

Dolichoderus – armored odorous ants

Locally abundant in eastern North America (4 species)

Dorymyrmexcone ants

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


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)


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

Labidusarmy ants

Locally common in South Texas (1 species)


Widespread and abundant across North America (~40 species)


Leptogenys elongata

Locally common in gulf states (3 species)





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)


Widespread and abundant across North America (~15 species)

Myrmecocystushoneypot ants

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


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


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


Common in far south Texas (1 species)


One arboreal species commonly encountered only in far south Texas.

Nomamyrmextank army antsNomamyrmex

Uncommon in south Texas (1 species)

Novomessorharvester ants

Abundant in the arid southwest (2 species)

Nylanderiasmall crazy ants

Widespread across continent (~20 species)


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)


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)


Common in eastern forests (2 species)

Prenolepisthe winter ant

Common across continent (1 species)


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)


Common but inconspicuous across continent (20 species)

Stigmatomma dracula ants

Across North America, uncommon (3 species)

Strumigenysminiature huntress ants

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


One subterranean species in the southwestern states, rarely encountered.


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)


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)


One introduced species spreading across Atlantic states.

Wasmannialittle fire ants

Introduced to peninsular Florida, common (1 species)


Peninsular Florida, uncommon (1 species)

13 thoughts on “North American Ants”

  1. Had no idea they had this many species…son is in Romania and was looking at some of the homes they looked those us and decided to find out how many in this country.

  2. What tiny ant haf a feathered antenna, l found a nest of them in a small flower pot? I doubt they were native.

  3. I found an ant nest inside the pot of a long dead house plant. They looked no different than ordinary sugar ants except for they were a bit larger and they had feathered antennas much like a moth and the antenna didn’t seem to have any bends in them. I’m hoping someone has come across these ants before and can tell me what they are. I’m praying l didn’t destroy the nest of an unknown species.

  4. Very happy to get the name(s) right (tiger ant and huntress ant) both seem to be in my small jungle in deep south Texas. Was bitten/stung last night and in pain for 4 to 5 hours. They both travel alone. When colonies are found they have been small (about 150 ants +/-).
    Thank you for the large pictures, descriptions, and region found.

  5. So there are thousands of varieties in North America alone, where do it find photos or drawings of the 900+ you didn’t show. Still trying to identify my feathered, like some moths, antennaed ants.

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