Ants are an incredibly fascinating species and there’s never a shortage of things about them that make our jaws drop. We’ve all seen flying ants, and now there’s apparently a species of ants that can jump. However, since this is relatively unexplored, there are many people wondering exactly what subspecies of ant this is, and how high can they jump.
The only species of ant that can actually jump are trap-jaw ants, who use their powerful jaws to launch themselves into the air, somersaulting several times their own body length to evade predators. This is a handy method when it comes to evading predators, and these ants are using it efficiently.
However, now that we’ve opened this Pandora’s box, it’s time to answer a few questions that are rightfully going to be asked about this. There are many intricacies that a discovery of this size has logically created, so we’ll try to cover that.
Let’s get started!
Can Black Ants Jump?
The only species of ants that can jump with their legs is a specific subspecies of the trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus rixosus, to be more accurate.
They have been found to exhibit a previously unseen jumping behavior, using their legs rather than their powerful jaws, however, they can also jump using their jaws.
Scientists have known that these ants often use their jaws to launch themselves in the air, evading any predator that’s even thought about harming them, but it’s only recently been discovered that they can jump using their legs, as well.
Scientists of North Carolina State University were collecting trap-jaw ants in Borneo in 2012 when they noticed this extreme behavior. Usually, the trap-jaw ant jumps by stretching its massive mandibles wide and then snapping them shut. This acts as a sort of spring-loaded system which launches it in the air.
They use this technique to evade predators, as they jumped whenever someone from the university’s team approached them.
This isn’t the only odd ant behavior that was documented by scientists, as there are flying ants, and also ants that can’t fly but drop from great heights (trees) and glide to a certain destination with their legs.
How High Can Ants Jump?
These ants can’t jump too far, usually not further than 5 centimeters. You have to understand that their jaws while being extremely powerful for their size, are heavy. They have very good eyesight, though, so they can see a predator coming from half a meter away, which gives them more than enough time to hop away to safety.
Interestingly enough, these trap-jaw ants have the most powerful predatory appendage relative to their own size in the whole animal kingdom. These ants are predatory, meaning that they hunt their food. And the first fact means that they have stronger jaws for their size than crocodiles do for their size (crocodiles are known as the animals with the strongest jaw on the planet).
Where Do Trap-Jaw Ants Live?
There are several species of Trap-jaw ants with different distributions over the planet. Most ants of this type live in tropical regions around the equator predominately in forests.
Nevertheless, it is reported that some Trap-jaw ants are found in the southern states of the U.S. as well. Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee are the most common homes.
These ants prefer to live on the ground next to trees and hunt for food in the vicinity of rotten logs and other humid wooden material. Normally they do avoid urban areas. If the natural food supply allows it they can be found occasionally in the human vicinity.
Does The Snap Of A Trap-Jaw Ant Hurt?
No. Although the acceleration is one of the fastest on the planet you’ll barely feel the snap. Force is a product of acceleration and mass. And the mass of the mandibles is incredibly low.
The acceleration of the mandibles is about that of a bullet leaving a gun, but the mandibles weigh only 0,07 mg because they are hollow.
A snapping mandible on your finger will result in a counterforce to the ant. This power will make the tiny ant be pushed away from your finger several inches. This is the same procedure used by them to escape from a danger.
How to Get Rid of Jumping Ants?
Trap-Jaw ants are special but not special enough to be immune for normal ant repellents. The treatment of jumping ants isn’t any different to a normal procedure.
We cover a lot of these tactics and a full guide in our Article (How To Get Rid Of Ants?).
As long as this huge guide is in the final making and you can refer to some basic measures (that follows) and wait for the complete set-up by checking in again soon.
The simplest way to get rid of any sort of insect infestation is to call pest control and let them handle it – there isn’t a species of insect that they can’t exterminate, or at least drive out of your home.
However, if you don’t want to spend money on that, you can always try buying repellents and getting rid of them on your own.
(Our guide will also include all secret home remedies and their application – stay tuned)
One tip most people don’t use is cleaning the ant trail. You can try hand soap to wash these paths and points of entry in your home. Ants communicate with chemical compounds (virtually throwing up into one another’s mouth, but that’s irrelevant), and without these pheromones to follow, they’re left completely clueless and won’t know where to go. You can either choose to let them leave your home or pick them off one by one.
White vinegar is the last solution we’re going to suggest at this point (and we don’t really like it). It repels ants and it also kills them if they get any on them. The ants will also be able to smell the vinegar after it dries so they’ll stay away eventually.