Field Guides > Identifying common ants

garden ant

Garden Ant

meadow ant

Meadow Ant

pavement ants

Pavement Ant

robber ant, learn all about ants

Robber Ant

wood ant

Wood Ant

What are ants?

The scientific classification of ants is as follows:

  • Common name: Ants
  • Class Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Formicidae

A few ant facts:

Here is a quick overview of some ant facts and features:

  • There are over 12,000 species of ants on this planet
  • We have 50 species of ants in the UK, but only 5 are common.
  • Ants live in groups called armies or colonies
  • They are divided into 4 castes: queens, males, workers and soldiers.

Who are our most common ants?

The most common ants, you are likely to see, are:

  • Black garden ants
  • Red woodland ants
  • Yellow meadow ants

Black garden ants the those we often spot in our gardens or running along the pavements. While, the red ants are easily spotted if you take a walk through any of our beautiful woodlands or forests – and, even if you might not spot the ants themselves, you are sure to notice their large, dome shaped nests (they look like big piles of earth, twigs, leaves and needles). Lastly, your might spot yellow ants if picnicking in a  meadow or field, or sometimes if you try digging up your lawn. But, yellow ants are shy and don’t come up very often. 

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