How Strong Are Ants? (Answered + Examples)

Ants may be small creatures, but they are incredibly strong. They are capable of carrying items that weigh much more than their own bodies, and when they work together, their strength becomes even more impressive. In fact, ants can lift items up to 100 times heavier than their own bodies, and they can support the weight of items 5,000 times heavier! This article explores the super-powered strength of ants, highlighting the reasons behind their incredible abilities and showcasing some of the strongest ant species known to exist. From the Asian weaver ant to the leafcutter ant, these tiny creatures are a testament to the fact that size doesn’t always determine strength.

How Strong Are Ants?

Ants may be small creatures, but they’re capable of incredible feats of strength. Individual ants are able to carry items that weigh much more than their bodies, and when ants work together, they’re able to carry even more. Just how strong are ants, and how much weight can they actually lift? Read on to learn more about the super-powered strength of ants.

An ant can carry items that are 100 times heavier than its body mass, and it can support the weight of items 5,000 times heavier! Ants are even stronger when they work together, which is why a single ant colony can move 50 tons of dirt per year. Even though ants are tiny, they’re among the strongest creatures in the world today.

In fact, the small size of an ant actually contributes to its strength! Most ants weigh between 1 and 5 mg. An ant’s light body doesn’t require much muscle support, which is why an ant can use all of its strength to lift heavy objects. Worker ants also have strong, well-developed muscles across their bodies. While worker ants used to be flying insects, most species lost their wings as they evolved. Without wings, ant muscles had more room to expand and develop, leading to the ultra-strong ants we see today.

Humans have skeletons inside our bodies, but ants have skeletons on the outside. An ant’s exoskeleton is made of a hard, durable material called chitin. The protection that this skeleton provides also helps an ant’s body to support very large amounts of weight. Ants are one of the strongest creatures in the world due to their small size and well-developed muscles that work in conjunction with their exoskeletons.

What Is the Strongest Species of Ant?

With more than 12,000 species of ants in the world, experts can’t say for certain which species is the strongest. However, the Asian weaver ant is known for its lifting abilities. These ants are so strong that they can carry 100 times their body weight even when they’re upside-down! Since these ants are so strong, they’re capable of capturing and carrying much larger insects back to their colony.

Not only is the weaver ant strong, but it has an extremely powerful grip. These ants have expandable foot pads that they can use to cling to surfaces. If one of these ants is about to drop something, it can expand its foot pads and tighten its grip in a fraction of a millisecond. Weaver ants are highly aggressive and will quickly attack when they detect a threat to their nest. Although they don’t have stingers, they have powerful bites and can spray formic acid at a bite wound, causing intense pain.

Another ant species that’s well-known for its strength is the leafcutter ant. These tiny insects have powerful, chainsaw-like jaws that they can use to strip the leaves off of trees. Once the leaf has been removed, these ants quickly carry them back to their colonies. The leafcutter ant can carry 50 times more than its body weight while sprinting! A colony of leafcutter ants can strip an entire tree of its leaves in under 24 hours, showcasing their incredible strength and endurance.

The Asian weaver ant and the leafcutter ant are just a couple of examples of the diverse and highly specialized ants found in nature. Their strength and adaptability make them some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth.

Are Ants the Strongest Insect?

While ants are incredibly strong, there are actually a few insects that are even stronger. Dung beetles, for example, can carry over 1,000 times their body weight. These beetles are known for their ability to move massive amounts of dung across long distances. They have adapted specialized anatomical features that allow them to efficiently navigate the dung and use it for food, shelter, and reproduction.

Additionally, there are other beetle species that can support massive amounts of weight as well. Beetles have extremely hard exoskeletons, which provide them with excellent protection and support. Some species, like the ironclad beetle, are so strong that they cannot be crushed even by a human’s shoe. These beetles demonstrate the incredible strength and resilience found in the insect world.

Honeybees, on the other hand, may not be as strong as ants or beetles, but they have their own unique strength. While a honeybee is only able to carry about half its body weight, it’s capable of doing that while flying through the air. Even though flying requires a lot of muscle support, honeybees have two sets of flight muscles, which makes it easier for them to carry heavy items through the air. Their ability to fly with such efficiency showcases their strength and adaptability.

Are Ants Stronger Than People?

While ants may be stronger relative to their size, humans still possess greater absolute strength. A human can support more weight than an ant can, but that’s only because of their comparatively large size. If an ant were scaled up to the size of a human, it would still be stronger than a person, but it wouldn’t be capable of lifting items that were 1,000 times its size. This is because as an ant becomes larger, its muscles would have to support more weight, which would reduce its lifting abilities.

To illustrate the relative strength of ants, it is worth noting that ants are even stronger than elephants relative to their size. Even professional weightlifters are no match for ants. Bodybuilder Vasily Alekseyev, who weighed 353 pounds, set the world record for an overhead lift when he successfully lifted 507 pounds above his head. Competitively, ants lift more than that every single day.

Ants’ remarkable strength relative to their size serves as a reminder that power can be found in even the smallest of creatures. It is a testament to the incredible diversity and adaptability of life on Earth.


In conclusion, ants are one of the strongest animals in the world. Despite their small size, they possess incredible strength and are capable of carrying items that are much heavier than their own bodies. While there are a few insects that are stronger than ants, ants still hold their own in the world of strength.

The combination of their small size, well-developed muscles, and exoskeletons made of chitin gives ants the ability to lift and carry heavy objects. Weaver ants and leafcutter ants are examples of ant species known for their exceptional strength. However, there are also other insects, such as dung beetles and certain beetle species, that surpass ants in terms of strength.

When compared to humans, ants have a higher relative strength, lifting more weight relative to their size. Ants demonstrate that even the smallest creatures can possess incredible power. Their strength and adaptability make them fascinating creatures to study and admire.

Nature Blog Network is the leading birding research and information website. Serving the birding community since 2010.

Recent Posts