A winged queen black ant on a leaf

Black garden ant

Black garden ants are the most commonly seen ants in Britain, building nests under garden stones and paving slabs, as well as occasionally turning up in our houses in the summer. However, they are probably most famous for their mating flights, when swarms of winged queens and reproductive males take to the skies during the hot and humid summer weather. The males subsequently die but the queens go on to establish new colonies. These small black ants are abundant in North America, Europe and parts of Asia and enjoy a varied diet from fruit to insects.

Did you know?
Black garden ants “milk” aphids; when prompted, aphids excrete sugar-filled honeydew in return for protection.

Scientific name: Lasius niger

Rank: Species

Common names:

Small black ant

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The Black garden ant can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Black garden ant distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Black garden ant