Do Anteaters Eat Fire Ants? Do The Fire Ants Bother Them?

The Anteater is a mammal that belongs to the order of xenarthrans, which includes sloths, armadillos, and some extinct animals like Pampatheres. Anteaters have elongated snouts with long sticky tongues that capture ants and termites from their nests. Anteaters are fascinating creatures. They have been feeding on ants for a long time.

But do anteaters eat fire ants?

In addition, they have strong forearms for tearing open ant mounds with their claws. It is a type of animal native to Central and South America. It can eat up to 30,000 ants in one day!


Different Species of Anteater

Anteaters are often blended with Pangolins or “super cute scaly ant-eating mammals.” There are three different species of anteaters: giant anteaters, lesser anteaters, and tamandua.

The giant Anteater is the largest of the three species. It can grow up to six feet long and weigh 150 pounds. The lesser Anteater is the smallest of the three species, growing only about two feet long and weighing up to 20 pounds.

The tamandua is between these two sizes, growing up to four feet long and weighing up to 60 pounds.

The giant Anteater is the largest of the three species. It can grow up to six feet long and weigh 150 pounds.

The giant Anteater has a long tongue compared to other species. The tongue is designed to catch ants and termites. It also has a thick coat of hair that helps protect it from insects and other animals that might want to eat it.

The lesser Anteater has a short tongue, but its nose is very sensitive, so it can smell ants deep in its nests.


What Do Anteaters Eat?

Anteaters are insectivores, which means they particularly eat insects. The Anteater’s diet consists mainly of ants and termites. Ants are their favorite food, but anteaters will also eat insects such as termites, grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles.¬†

Some species will also eat small lizards or scorpions if they can catch them! They are not very picky eaters, but they do have their preferences.

For instance, they prefer the larger ants to the smaller ones because it takes less energy for them to consume them.


How Do Anteaters Eat?

Anteaters must be careful when eating because they have no teeth! Instead, anteaters use their tongue to roll the insects into a ball, so they can be swallowed whole. They have a long snout with an elongated nose that is used to probe for insects on the ground. 

Also, they have large eyes to help them see their prey better in low light conditions. Anteaters have strong claws on their front paws that tear open logs or anthills for food. Their tongue is shaped like a tube that they use to suck up ants and termites from the ground or trees where they build their nests.

Due to their strong sense of smell, they can differentiate between all kinds of ant species.


Can Anteaters Eat Fire Ants?

Anteaters are also considered docile animals as they feed on fire ants. Fire ants are a type of ant that live in colonies with queens, workers, soldiers, and males. They are extremely aggressive and can sting anyone when they feel threatened. The venomous sting of fire ants consists of a neurotoxin that typically causes minor pain and swelling. But on occasion, it can cause anaphylactic shock and even death. Therefore, a single fire ant can be deadly to some animals, especially those allergic to the venom.

However, anteaters have sticky saliva, which helps them to hold the fire ants in their mouth.

Although anteaters are not able to digest the venom of fire ants, they can swallow them as a whole. This is why anteaters eat fire ants with their lightning-quick tongue.

Moreover, fire ants can be eaten by anteaters because the anteater has a stomach full of strong acids that will kill the fire ant’s sting before it reaches the stomach. In addition, anteaters have a thick layer of hair on their body, protecting them from fire ant stings.

The hair is so dense that it can even protect the Anteater’s eyes from the stings.¬†

Fire ants can be eaten by anteaters because the anteater has a stomach full of strong acids that will kill the fire ant’s sting.

Usually, Fire ants build nests underground with multiple chambers that can hold up to 50,000 individual fire ants at one time. Anteaters use their long tongue to slurp up the entire colony of fire ants in a glimpse.


Conclusion

Anteaters are fascinating creatures. They are able to feed on fire ants and will prey on them.

We wonder how those fire ants taste!