Yes, ants are arthropods. They feature all the characteristics that classify animals under the phylum Arthropoda. They’re invertebrates and have segmented bodies, jointed legs, and chitin-exoskeletons.
In this article, we’ll further discuss why ants are arthropods as we break down the following:
- What are arthropods
- Why ants are arthropods
- How ants differ from other arthropods
What are Arthropods?
Arthropods are members of the phylum Arthropoda. It’s a diverse group of animals that include insects, crustaceans, arachnids, and millipedes. They represent 84 percent of all known species and inhabit every possible habitat. 
Arthropods play a major role in maintaining ecosystems. They help with pollination, decompose waste, help form humus, and serve as food.
They have the following characteristics:
Arthropods are invertebrates, meaning they don’t have vertebral columns or spines. In fact, arthropods don’t have any bones at all. 
Instead of bones, arthropods have external skeletons (exoskeletons) made of chitin. This exoskeleton supports and protects their bodies, and regulates water loss.
Most arthropods have segmented bodies divided into three main parts. These parts include the head, thorax, and abdomen.
Each of these parts specializes in the following functions:
- Head: The head houses the mouth and sensory organs.
- Thorax: The thorax contains the legs and other parts used for locomotion.
- Abdomen: The abdomen contains vital organ systems.
For some arthropods, the head and thorax are combined into a cephalothorax.
Arthropods have at least one appendage on any of their three main body parts. These may be legs or modified appendages such as antennae and mouthparts.
Arthropods have jointed legs that are flexible and have a wide range of movement. These legs are designed to work alongside their rigid exoskeletons.
Why are Ants Arthropods?
Ants are arthropods because they share many characteristics with the other members. To be specific, ants have the following characteristics:
Ants don’t have bones and have exoskeletons made of chitin instead. This exoskeleton is composed of two layers, a thin outer layer, and a tough inner layer. The outer layer helps maintain water balance while the other protects their bodies.
3 Main Body Parts
Ants have segmented bodies divided into 3 main body parts. These parts include the head, thorax, and abdomen.
The head contains important sensory organs like the antennae. Ants use these organs to find food, navigate, and communicate. Their thoraxes house their legs and in some ant castes, wings. Lastly, their abdomens contain the reproductive system and other vital organs.
Jointed Legs and Other Appendages
Ants have different appendages in their bodies. They have 3 pairs of legs that attach to the thorax. These legs are jointed and flexible and they allow ants to walk and climb at astounding speeds.
Their heads also contain modified appendages. These include the antennae and mandibles which they use to feel and eat, respectively.
Types of Arthropods
Arthropods are further divided into 4 subphyla. They are as follows:
- Chelicerata: Spiders, scorpions, mites, ticks, and horseshoe crabs
- Crustacea: Crabs, lobsters, shrimps, krill, and barnacles
- Myriapoda: Millipedes, centipedes, and symphylans
- Hexapoda: Insects, springtails, and proturans
Ants are insects and classify under the subphylum Hexapoda.
How are Ants Different from Other Arthropods
As insects, ants are different from other arthropods through the following features:
- 3 Body Segments: The ant body consists of 3 main segments: the head, thorax, and abdomen. On the other hand, arthropods like crustaceans have 2.
- 6 Legs: Ants have 3 pairs of jointed legs while other arthropods like spiders have more.
- Wings: As insects, ants are among the only arthropods that can grow wings and fly.
See this article to learn more about why ants are insects.
Do Ants Eat Other Arthropods?
Yes, ants eat other arthropods. Ants are predators and opportunistic eaters. They eat pretty much everything including live or dead matter.
The arthropods they eat include other insects, spiders, millipedes, and centipedes.
Are Ants Arthropods or Insects?
Ants are both arthropods and insects. Insects are a subgroup of arthropods. This means that all insects like ants are also arthropods.
Ants are arthropods because they share characteristics with other members of the group. They’re invertebrates with segmented bodies, chitin-exoskeletons, and jointed appendages.
Together with other arthropods, ants represent the largest phylum in the animal kingdom.