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Food Web

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Ants are a very important part of the food web. They eat plants, seeds, and decaying plant and animal material. 

Ant nest in leaf litter Ant nest in wood

Many species of ants prey on other insects. Some ants eat insect pests, such as termites. 

Termites Termites on lupine

Ants with aphids

Some ants eat honeydew, the sweet substance produced by aphids. They will even guard the aphids against predators like ladybugs.

Ants provide food for other arthropods, amphibians, birds, and mammals, and even some carnivorous plants (like the pitcher plant). 

[Bear tearing apart dead tree to eat ants]

[Downy woodpecker eating ants][Ants are part of many amphibian diets][Wood frogs and red efts eat ants]















Ant lions are the larva of a damselfly like insect. They dig pits in sandy areas to catch the ants they feed on.

[Ant Lion]

[Many arthropods like spiders and  beetles depend on ants for food] 


[Ant Lion Funnel] 











[Pitcher Plant]

One of the most interesting organisms that depends on ants for food is the pitcherplant. This carnivorous plant grows in bogs and catches ants are attracted by their nectar. The pitcher part of the plant acts like a pitfall trap. The cavity of the plant fills with water and the slippery sides prevent the ant from crawling out. It is then digested by enzymes.