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Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites

Flying Ants vs Termites

Ants are insects that are related to bees and wasps. They form colonies that are composed of worker ants, soldier ants, drones, and queens. The drones and the queen ants have wings which the queen ants shed after mating during the nuptial flight.

It is during this nuptial flight that people notice swarms of flying insects in their surroundings which can either be flying ants or termites that are mating. At a distance these two insects might look the same, but if one looks closer, their differences are very noticeable.

Flying ants and termites have different body shapes. The bodies of ants have three sections; the head, thorax, and the abdomen while the bodies of termites only have two, composed of the head and the thorax. This causes ants to appear to have waists that are thin and termites to have a thick waist.

When one looks closely at the antennae of both insects, the difference is very apparent. Flying ants have antennae that are bent while termites have straight antennae. The flying ant’s antennae are also longer than the termite’s.

Although both have wings, the wings of flying ants are not the same size. They have long front wings and short back wings while termites have wings that have the same size and length. After mating, male ants die, and only the queen ants start the new colony while with termites, both the male and female termites form the new colony.
Flying ants, and all species of ants for that matter, have different colors which can be black, brown, or red while termites have one distinct color which is black. They also have different eating habits with flying ants preferring to eat food while termites prefer to munch on wood.

Termites do not choose which wood to chew on, and for this they are considered as pests that cause damage to furniture and homes while ants can be beneficial to man and the ecology although at times they too can be annoying.


1.Flying ants are social insects that are related to wasps and bees while termites are eusocial insects that are known as white ants in Australia but are not related to ants.
2.Both have castes in their colonies. With flying ants only the female or queen ants start the colony; with termites both the male and female start the colony.
3.The bodies of flying ants have three sections: the head, thorax, and the abdomen while the body of termites has two: the head and the abdomen only.
4.Flying ants have long and bent antennae while termites have shorter and straight antennae.
5.Termites have front and back wings that are of the same size and length while flying ants have long front wings and short back wings.

6.Termites chew on wood and consume it as food while flying ants consume the same food as humans do.

7.Flying ants are sometimes red, brown, or black in color while termites are usually black.

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