Ants as Prey

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Ant colonies are preyed on by other animals. This page is for discussion of these interactions.


There are many species of spiders that prey on ants, some of which have evolved to be specialists that focus on a single ant species. Kwapich and Holldobeler (2019) found that workers of Veromessor pergandei are able to rescue workers ensnared in webs of spiders (Steatoda sp. and Asagena sp.) that build webs in their foraging paths. The ants will also dismantle the web in order to remove the immediate threat of additional workers being captured. This is the second reported instance of rescue behavior being exhibited in ants (see Megaponera analis) but the dismantling of a spider web is a novel behavior for ants.


  • Kwapich, C. L. and B. Holldobler. 2019. Destruction of Spiderwebs and Rescue of Ensnared Nestmates by a Granivorous Desert Ant (Veromessor pergandei). Am. Nat. 194:395-404. doi:10.1086/704338