- Common Name: Fire Ant
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Family: Formicidae
- Genus: Solenopsis
13 Fire Ant Facts for Kids
- A fire ant is the generic name for some ant species in the Solenopsis genus.
- Fire ants might also be referred to as ginger ants or tropical fire ants.
- There are 20 ant species in the Solenopsis genus that are considered true fire ants.
- Fire ants typically have a reddish or brownish color. Some ants that don’t sting are called fire ants due to their color.
- Fire ants are omnivores, feeding mostly on young plants and seeds, however they can and do attack live prey.
- Fire ant colonies consist of three different types of ants, and they are the queen, drones (male fire ants) and workers.
- A fire ant colony can have hundreds of thousands of ants, and in some cases multiple queens.
- All fire ant species can sting, and those stings produces a considerable amount of pain, especially when stung by multiple fire ants at one time.
- Fire ants create permanent nests in open areas for the entire colony to live in, and they will produce a large mound as they increase the size of their nest. Some of these mounds can get higher than 16 inches.
- Around 30% of the workers in a fire ant colony will be used to dig tunnels and expand their nest.
- Fire ants are very aggressive and territorial, and they will attack other ant colonies that are close to their own.
- Fire ants can survive floods by creating large clumps of hundreds of thousands of ants. Many pictures were circulated of fire ant clamps after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017.
- The red ant species Solenopsis invicta, also called the red imported fire ant, is an invasive species in many countries, including Australia, China, the United States of America and Taiwan.
Fire Ant Pictures
A close-up picture of a fire ant’s body.
A close-up picture of a fire ant’s head.
Credit: Jake Farnum
A picture of a red fire ant stinging a human.
Credit: University of California, Riverside
Additional Resources for Fire Ant Facts
- Frequently Asked Questions about Fire Ants – An excellent FAQ about fire ants from the Texas A&M website.
- Fire Ant Bites – Learn about fire ant bites and how they affect humans.
- Fire Ant – Wikipedia – Learn more about fire ants on the Wikipedia website.