why lizard don't eat ants

Why Lizards Don’t Eat Ants?

why lizard don't eat antsYou can see lizard come across ants, but they don’t eat the ants. Lizards are much bigger than ants, and they can easily eat ants, but why don’t they do it?

Why lizards don’t eat ants? Ants don’t have enough nutritional value, and they don’t taste good. They are filled with formic acid, which can taste awful. Lizards don’t like this taste, so they avoid them. Lizards have many options that taste better and also fulfills their daily need, so there is no need to eat ants.

What Will Happen If A Lizard Consumes Ants

Firstly most lizard will not consume ants, but if for some reason it consumes it then it will try to swallow it and after that won’t eat any other ant because ants taste awful. Baby and young lizards are inexperienced, and they can try to eat an ant, but once they do it, they will realize that it’s not worthwhile and probably after that, the lizard will learn it’s a lesson and will stop consuming ant.

Ants Can Be Dangerous

Ants live in a group, and if lizards try to take them on then, the lizard can get in trouble. Some ants have a potent bite, and that can paralyze the lizard and when the lizard gets paralyzed, more ants will bite the lizard and will try to eat the lizard. Lizards instinctively know that ants can be dangerous and that is the reason lizard avoid them.

Horned Lizard Eat Ants

Horned LizardHorned lizard is seen to eat ants, and they do it often. They eat a lot of ants and ants are a part of their diet. Not all lizard eats ants, but horned lizard does. A single ant does not have a lot of nutritional value, but they can get a lot of nutrition when they consumes a lot of them. They are found in North America, and they eat ants that they can find there.

Ants Eat Lizards

Well, lizards may not eat ants, but ants do eat lizards. Ants eat whatever they can. Nothing is thrown as waste in the ant world. So if a lizard accidentally enters ants territory and dies over there, then the ants will carry the lizard with them inside their ant colony. Not as full but in small parts. Everything is put to fair use in the ant world. They have the strength to cut any animals and carry them to their home.

There are many dangerous ants in the wild, and they can take down even big animals. These ants attack in numbers and their bite is painful. Ants like fire ants, bullet ants, are very dangerous. 

Are Lizards Scared Of Ants?

There is a possibility that most lizards are sacred of ants. It’s more like instinctual. They know they have to stay away from ants. There is no proper way to say whether they are scared, or they are instinctively programmed to stay away from the ants for some reason. Ants are dangerous, and lizards know that so fearing ants is not out of possibility. If ants start biting the lizard, the lizard will immediately run away from that place. 

Ants attack in numbers, and if lizards get close to a group of ants, then a lot of ants can climb on the lizards and will start biting the lizard. If too many ants bite the lizard, then it can become fatal for the lizard.

Many animals avoid ants whether they do it out of fear or for something else is not known. Spiders, some insects and most animals keep their distance from ants. They have formidable weapons in their body, which can easily take down almost most creatures. With their sheer number and aggressiveness, nothing is impossible.

Getting Close To Ant Colony Can Be Dangerous For The Lizard

ant hillIn the wild lots of ant colonies can live side by side to each other. They cover a massive distance. If a lizard accidentally gets inside that place, it can get complicated for the lizard to get out of that place. Usually, these ant colonies can spread over miles, and it will be full of ants. 

A lizard can run fast, but unfortunately, that speed won’t be enough to escape the ant’s colonies. If the ant’s colony gets on alert, then lots of ants can come out and cover up the area. In this situation, the chances are that the lizard can get caught in that place. A single ant may not be enough to put a lizard down, but multiple of them is more than enough to take down even elephants.

Do Big Lizards Eat Ants?

Big lizards like komodo dragon and monitor lizard eat almost anything. Still, they barely eat ants because ants are not enough to fulfill their daily requirement, and they can be dangerous. It’s difficult to take down a komodo dragon, so they are not worried about ants. A small group of ants is usually not a threat to any lizard, but a big group can be very dangerous for most lizards. 

Almost all kinds of lizards encounter a small group of ants daily. Ants usually eat the leftover from the lizard, and in the case of big lizards, those leftovers can be huge chunks of meats where different kinds of ants come in to feed, and they come across these big lizards. These big lizards are not scared of ants, so they are not concerned about them.

Why Some Lizards Run Away From Ants?

This is also a typical behavior. Sometimes lizards run away whenever they see ants are coming close to them. Is it fear, or is there any other reason, or is it that they don’t want to be disturbed?

These questions are hard to answer, but they do it quite often. They will run away from that place and will come back after a long time or when the ants are gone.

My Personal Experience

I saw a curious lizard coming across a big fat black ant. The behavior was quite fascinating. The lizard was cautious while moving toward the ant. The lizard perhaps thought that its a prey and then when it got close enough, it waited in the position for a while. In the meantime, the ants turned around and got close to the lizard’s mouth. The lizard didn’t move an inch and stayed there for quite some time. 

It didn’t eat the ant even when the ant was inspecting the lizard. After a few minutes, the lizard turned away and got out of that place quickly and left the ant alone. I don’t know what caused this behavior, but my best guess is that the lizard was curious and wanted to know what it was and when it got closer it realized it’s not edible.

This behavior is uncommon in the house lizard, but in the wild, I think this happens quite often. Young lizards are curious, and they come close to the ants to inspect. 


Lizards don’t like the taste of ants because they have formic acid in them along with that they don’t fulfill their daily nutritional need. It’s also possible that most lizards are scared of ants because they can be dangerous if they attack in number. An ant won’t attack a lizard unless the lizard provokes them. The avoidance behavior is also seen in spiders, insects and even in animals.

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