Ants up to about 5 mm long

Includes species where the smallest individuals are less than 5mm, but in species that have mixed sizes the larger ants may exceed this 


Tiny 1.5 mm ants, yellowish, slow-moving, under stones and leaf-litter: Monomorium modestum  [Tiny yellow timid ant]Myrmicinae

Tiny 1.5 mm ants, black, quick moving, nest under stones: Lepisiota capensis subsp minuta [Tiny black sugar ant]Formicinae
There are very few common ants as small as the two above; most start at about 2mm, see those below.



About 2 mm, brown with slightly darker gaster, large teardrop-shaped eyes; slow-moving, under stones and leaf-litter: Monomorium macrops [Teardrop-eyed timid ant], Myrmicinae




About 2 mm, brown to dark brown and fairly hairy; nest under stones in sandy soils; secretive and rarely seen; body shape and movement resembles Acropyga but has large eyes: Agraulomyrmex meridionalis [Southern field ant]Formicinae


About 2 mm, black with pale legs, in house [kitchen or bathroom], nocturnal, nest in appliances, foul-smelling when crushed: Technomyrmex pallipes [Pale-footed ant]Dolichoderinae 

About 2.5+ mm, pale yellow [almost transparent]; ground dwelling in thick soils; nocturnal; secretive and rarely seen; body shape and movement resembles Lepisiota but never present in large numbers: Acropyga arnoldi [Yellow forest sugar ant]Formicinae
About 2.2+ mm, pale yellow to reddish [almost transparent] with darker anterior part of gaster; large colonies in the ground, under floors etc. with many 5mm queens;
Monomorium pharaonis [Pharaoh ant]INVADER; Myrmicinae




About 2.25 to 2.75 mm, shiny black with paler legs; always has two blunt tubercles or spines on the propodeum [posterior end of thorax] and larvae that pupate in cocoons; runs in trails, has become invasive in some areas: Lepisiota capensis [Small black ant]Formicinae : INDIGENOUS INVADER


About 2.5 mm, overall brown with slightly darker gaster; double-jointed petiole, resembling Pheidole but without large-headed major workers; small colonies under stones or in leaf litter;
Monomorium australe [Southern timid ant]Myrmicinae


About 2.5 mm, overall brown, runs in trails with queens often present, a massive invader of homes, gardens, etc.; smells of Parmesan cheese when crushed: Linepithema humile [Argentine ant]Dolichoderinae : INVADER
About 2.5 to 2.8 mm; black with red-brown mandibles and dark brown antennae and tarsi; in small colonies under stones and not carton nests: Crematogaster transvaalensis [Small black cocktail ant]; Myrmicinae


About 2.6 to 3.2 mm; black with dark brown mandibles, clypeus and tarsi; shiny gaster. In soil under stones or old wood, at altitudes of 1500m+, Western Cape only: Crematogaster orobia [Matroosberg cocktail ant]; Myrmicinae


About 3 mm, overall brown with paler legs and antennae; prominent 'lump' or protuberance on the anterior end of the thorax. Reputed to be a wood-dwelling ant, our specimen was nesting in clay soil. May be restricted to Grootvadersbosch and hence very rare: Axinidris lignicola [Grandfather's wood ant]; Dolichoderinae :  should be RED DATA LISTED



Minor workers 2+ mm; narrow waist; runs in trails; has huge-headed major workers up to 4mm; brown to dark brown: Pheidole capensis [Brown house ant]Myrmicinae


Minor worker 2.5 mm; narrow waist; runs in trails; has huge-headed major workers up to 5mm; brown to dark brown, may invade houses: Pheidole megacephala [Big-headed house ant]Myrmicinae : INDIGENOUS INVADER

Ants 3.5+ mm; all black or with dark red heads and thorax; small nests in sand, often with detritus 'cone' around entrance; gardens and veld: Tetramorium sericeiventre [Black fierce ant]Myrmicinae


Ants <4 mm; shiny dark brown with no spines on thorax; slow moving and often seen alone: Monomorium excelsior [Large timid ant]Myrmicinae



Ants <2 mm [minors] to <5 mm; dull ochre-yellow with reddish or brownish tint; sometimes bright orange-red; majors sometimes have darker heads; rapidly moving and aggressive with powerful stings; nest in rotting wood or leaf litter in large nomadic colonies: Solenopsis puntaticeps [Cape fire ant]Myrmicinae


Ants >4 mm; all black; small nests in sand, often with detritus 'cone' around entrance; ants curl up and feign dead when touched: Tetramorium signatum [Feigning garden ant]Myrmicinae
Ants 3.5–<4.5 mm; jet black; run in trails; build carton nests in bushes; cock gasters over their heads and swarm and bite aggressively when disturbed: Crematogaster peringueyi [Black cocktail ant]Myrmicinae

Ants 4 mm; red-brown with brown to black gasters; run in trails; nest in old stumps and stems; cock gasters over their heads and swarm and bite aggressively when disturbed: Crematogaster castanea [Red cocktail ant]Myrmicinae


Ants 4 mm; red-brown head and thorax with black gaster; run in trails; nest in and around old roots and wood on the ground; cock gasters over their heads and swarm and bite aggressively when disturbed: Crematogaster melanogaster [Brown cocktail ant]Myrmicinae
Ants 3.8 to 4.5mm; dark brown to almost black body with paler legs and antennae; extremely hairy; do not run in trails; nest under stones in soil; slow moving and not very aggressive; forage singly or in small groups: Meranoplus peringueyi [Hairy cautious ant]Myrmicinae



Ants 4 – 4.5 mm; shiny, almost translucent yellow with elongated, slender bodies; nest in hollow stalks and under bark in forested environments: Tetraponera emeryi [Emery's yellow slender ant]Pseudomyrmecinae



Ants between 3.6 and 4 mm; jet black with elongated, slender bodies; nest in hollow stalks in fynbos: Tetraponera clypeata [Black slender ant]Pseudomyrmecinae

Ants <3 mm [minors] to 5 mm; red-yellow with reddish or brownish tint; majors  sometimes have darker heads; rapidly moving and aggressive with powerful stings; nest in rotting wood or leaf litter in large colonies: Solenopsis geminata [Tropical fire ant]Myrmicinae : INVADER
Ants in multiple sizes from 2.5 mm to 6 mm; extremely active and aggressive; attack on touch; red-brown to dark-brown, almost black; large nests in ground; swarm towards you if you thump the ground: Anoplolepis steingroeveri [Small pugnacious ant]Formicinae
Ants in multiple sizes from 2 mm to 8 mm; extremely active and aggressive; attack on touch; orange-red to red; large nomadic colonies that move to new food sources: Dorylus helvolus  [Red driver ant]Dorylinae 
Ants in multiple sizes from 4.5 mm to 8+ mm; red-brown to dark-brown with silvery refractive hairs forming a chequered pattern on their gasters; extremely active and aggressive; attack on touch; large nests in ground; swarm towards you if you thump the ground: Anoplolepis custodiens [Large pugnacious ant]Formicinae




Ants in multiple sizes from about 4.5 mm to 11 mm; shiny jet-black or dark brown; form slow-moving trails carrying vegetable detritus to their nests; trails freeze if you thump the ground near them; a mound of detritus may form around the nest entrance: Messor capensis [Cape harvester ant]Myrmicinae











1 comment:

  1. Great site and enough information, good job :)

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