Do Ants Drink Water? It’s A Curious Question

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Ants are fascinating creatures, and many questions about them remain a mystery. One of the most curious is, Do ants drink water? As it turns out, the answer is yes—ants drink water. They get most of the nutrients they need to survive from food, but they also drink water to supplement their diet and hydrate themselves.

Continue reading to find out more about ants and water

Do Ants Drink Water? It’s a Curious Question

Ant drinking from water trickling down a branch

Ants need water for survival and will drink from drops of water or small puddles. They use their labium to lap up the water, the equivalent of our human tongues.

Though it may seem strange, ants drink water like any other animal. The liquid they consume is held in the hypopharynx, and the glossa transports the water to the digestive system. Water is essential for the survival of ants and other animals; without it, they would perish.

How do ants drink water?

Ants drink water in a way that is very similar to the way human beings drink water. They use their labium, which is similar to the tongue in human beings, to drink the water. The hypopharynx holds the water, and the glossa displaces it, allowing the ants to drink.

Do Ants Drink Water? It's a Curious Question

In other words, they do not suck the water in as they do not have lungs. Instead, they use their labium to contain the food in the lower portion of their mouth while eating. The mandible helps them hold the water and direct it towards their mouth.

When it comes to how ants drink water, there are two main methods: licking and sucking. Licking is the most common way for ants to drink water. They create a negative pressure that draws the liquid into their hypopharynx.

Do ants drinking water is needed in ant colony?

Do ants drinking water is needed in ant colony?

Ants need water for survival reasons, just like any other living creature. Many colonies have been known to live without food for a certain period, but lack of water can be much more dangerous. 

How much can ants drink?

Ants drink water to survive and can drink different amounts depending on the size of their head. Different species of ants are of different sizes, and individuals take different amounts of time to drink.

Larger ants will drink slightly more, and smaller ants will drink slightly less. The best answer about how much an ant drinks is from Camponotus mus, a mid-sized ant that can drink 6-8 microliters of sugar water in a single sitting.

Depending on the size of their heads, ants can drink up to 1/4 cup per day.

Do ants like water?

Ants get their water from the food that they eat. They digest the food and extract the water from it, which they then share with other ants. Ants do not need to drink large amounts of water like other insects, as they can extract what they need from their food.

How do ants get water?

How do ants get water?

Ants get their water from various sources, the most common of which is food. Weaver ants and Leafcutter ants find the water they need from plant sap. Some ant species tend to insects from the order Homoptera like aphids and get liquid honeydew.

Though it may seem like a curious question, ants do drink water. They get their liquid from various sources, including extrafloral nectarines (nectar produced by plants, not for pollination), honeydew (a sweet liquid secreted by aphids and other sap-sucking insects), and even the tears of baby birds.

What do ants eat food and drink from water source?

There are more than 10,000 types of ants in all shapes and sizes. They live on every continent except Antarctica. Ants are omnivorous creatures, and their diet reflects that. They eat almost anything: sweets, meats, seeds, plants, fungus- you name it!

Their diet includes nectar and other sweet liquids, meats; seeds; plants. So the next time you wonder what ants drink, you know they drink water!

How many stomachs does an ant have?

Ants have two stomachs – one for the food they eat and one for the food they share with other ants. The first stomach is where the ant breaks down and digests the food it eats.

The second stomach is where the ant stores the food it collects from others. It allows them to share food with other ants, even if they are not in the same colony.

Can ants survive in water?

Can ants survive in water?

Ants can survive in water to some extent. Some species can link together to form a giant raft floating on the water. Ants that fall into water can also recover, even after being submerged for up to 24 hours. They will expel the water from their lungs and get back on track.

Can you drown an ant with microliter water?

When ants are caught in a flood, they do not necessarily hold their breath and close the spiracles. However, if the water level is not too high, the ants will swim to safety.

Ants do not have lungs; they breathe through their skin. So even if they are submerged in water, as long as there is air available, they can breathe.

How many ants per human?

The population of ants worldwide is on the order of 1 million to just one human. There are about 12,000 species of ants worldwide, which can be found almost anywhere on Earth.

Why are sugar ants attracted to my cup of sugar water?

Why are sugar ants attracted to my cup of sugar water?

Ants are attracted to water for a variety of reasons. Most ants get their water from the food they eat. They will also share and regurgitate water to hydrate the colony.

Some species of ants, particularly in hot climates, are attracted to damp wood as it is a rare commodity. And finally, most ants do not invade homes looking for water; they are usually brought in accidentally through cracks and openings.

Do ants look for water part in home when they feel thirst?

Ants do not need to drink water as they get all the hydration they need from the food they consume.

However, like carpenter ants, ants are attracted to moist wood and excess moisture. They often find them in bathrooms or near a leaky faucet, as these areas are usually moist.


Ants can drink a lot of water and get most of the water they need from their food. The typical ant in an average setting probably drinks about seven microliters. It is equivalent to 1/5th of a drop of water. A colony of ants contains anywhere from 500 to 1,000 workers.

If there are around 250,000 ants in your area, they could become a problem as they will likely be stealing your food and drink. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.