Can Ants Fly?

can-ants-fly Credit: John Tann/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Swarms of flying ants are not an uncommon occurrence during summer months as the winged ants are pushed out of an ant colony by the wingless workers. They can be seen spilling out of a colony that was established in a mound of earth or between the cracks in a sidewalk. Winged ants are sometimes mistaken for termites, but can be distinguished from them by their narrow waist and bent antenna.

Those ants that possess wings are the reproduction-capable queens and males. The queen will shed her wings after mating, while the males die shortly after. Both types of winged ants will swarm from the nest to mate. The worker ants are wingless, although wingless males and queens are found in a few species.