How Ants and Sugar Can Teach Us About Aggression


Ants seek sugar as well as other foods, but studies suggest that sucrose (table sugar) is particularly loved.  In fact, studies have shown that ants will forage greater distances for sugar water than for other foods, and they will also become more aggressive.  In fact, when ants are given sucrose water they will be more likely to attack foreign ants and more likely to kill them. However, if they eat a lot of sugar, they will become fatter and tend to move less well than ants on no sugar or ants on less sugar.


  1. Grover, C.D., Kay, A.D., Monson, J.A., Marsh, T.C. and Holway, D.A. (2007) Linking nutrition and behavioural dominance: carbohydrate scarcity limits aggression and activity in Argentine ants. Proc Biol Sci 274: 2951-2957.