The Gigantiops Destructor is a fascinating ant with huge eyes and an interesting way of getting around. This species has the ability to jump small distances and hop from one twig to another, which allows them to move quickly in the trees. This feature makes it incredibly hard to follow them back to their nest in the wild. This is why they are sometimes referred to as “South American Jumping Ants”.
The Gigantiops Destructor is diurnal and only hunts during the day, with a peak between 9:30 am and 11:30 am.
The workers are individualists and sometimes even fight for food, which makes no sense as they belong to the same colony.
The Gigantiops Destructor feeds on various things such as insects, sweet fruits, and also liquids such as syrup, honey with water, and whatever they can find.
In the wild, the workers collect the nectar from different plants and flowers and hunt small living arthropods. They will not hunt an insect that stands perfectly still but will jump on them when they start moving. Workers that collect food are solitary hunters that would even fight for the same food with another worker from the same colony.
The Gigantiops Destructor feels most comfortable at a temperature of 24-28° C. The nest is usually slightly lower with around 22° C to 24° C.
Since this species lives in the rain forests, they need a very high temperature of 70% – 80% which is much higher than the usual humidity in a room. This means that you would have to increase the humidity in the formicarium if you own this species.
The nest should have an even higher humidity of up to 90%.
The Gigantiops Destructor has probably the biggest eyes of all ants that were discovered so far. Their enormous eyes go all over the sides of the head giving them really good eyesight.
This species is medium-sized and mostly black with very dark red jaws and yellowish tips of the antennae.
This species does not hibernate. The Gigantiops Destructor lives in the neotropical rainforest where the temperatures never drop enough.
Do not try to hibernate this species, if you own them. Since they are not made for hibernation, it will kill them, if the temperatures are too low.
Queen – Reproduction
The Gigantiops Destructor colonies always only have one queen (monogynous) and can have various nests (polydomous). The colony size can reach several hundreds of workers and the growth is medium-fast.
No records about nuptial flights of the Gigantiops Destructor can be found on antlights.com.
But there are some records showing that the Gigantiops Destructor sends out its queens and drones in spring.
The Gigantiops Destructor can be found in the neotropical rainforests of Northern South America. The species can be found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname.
Overall Difficulty Rating
The Gigantiops Destructor is a species for experienced ant keepers. It has a rather aggressive attitude and is hard to catch because they would flee by running and jumping away through the trees.
They do have a very interesting appearance due to their huge eyes, and their solitary behavior makes it exciting to watch them.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂