Yes, ants do drink water. Just like with other organisms, water is essential for their survival. They need water to stay hydrated and maintain proper function. They get their water from their food and other sources like puddles, dew, and rainwater.
In this article, we’ll learn more about ants drinking water as we discuss the following:
- How ants drink water
- How much water ants can drink
- Why ants need water
- How ants obtain water
How Do Ants Drink Water?
As with many other animals, ants drink water by using their mouths. Ant mounts contain a labium or the ant equivalent to our tongues.
The labium consists of several parts including the hypopharynx and the glossa. The hypopharynx holds liquid while the glossa transports or displaces it. These parts allow ants to either lick or suck water.
When ants encounter a water source, they extend their labium and touch it to the water’s surface. From there, they can lick and use their glossa to transport water into the hypopharynx. Or, they can suck and use pressure to draw water in.
Either way, they then retract their labium and bring the water back to their nests or consume it directly.
How Do Queen Ants Drink Water?
Queen ants drink water through trophallaxis. They rely on worker ants to give them water through mouth-to-mouth transfer.
The same process occurs for other adult ants that stay in the nest.
How Much Water Can Ants Drink?
The amount of water ants can drink depend on their size. Bigger workers can drink more than smaller ones. In general, ants only consume small quantities of water at a time. Their bodies are too small and therefore have limited capacity for water storage.
On an individual basis, ants consume droplets of water no longer than the size of their bodies. This amount of water ranges around 6-8 microliters. 
Why Do Ants Need Water?
Water is a fundamental resource for all living organisms, and ants are no exception. Like other animals, ants require water to survive and maintain their bodily functions.
Water plays a crucial role in various aspects of an ant’s life. They allow ants to grow, function, and survive. Water plays a role in the following important processes:
- Digestion: Water aids in digestion as a solvent. Due to its chemical composition, it helps break down essential compounds like glucose.
- Respiration: Water plays an important role in allowing respiration to occur. As a solvent, water helps cells transport oxygen, a key part of aerobic respiration.
- Molting: Water is key to molting. It serves as a mechanism to expand the exoskeleton before hardening.
How Do Ants Obtain Water?
Ants usually get the water they need from the food that they consume. Fluids like sap, nectar, and honeydew all provide ants with enough moisture. Hence, ants don’t usually forage for water. See this article to learn about what ants eat.
That said, they will actively look for water sources during times of scarcity. During these times you’ll find them around water sources including the following:
- Natural bodies of water
- Household water sources (leaks and spills)
Do Ants Like Sugar Water?
Yes, ants like sugar water. Both sugar and water are valuable for ants. Sugar is a valuable energy source for ants and water, again, helps them survive. Therefore, ants will actively seek out and collect sugar water when available.
How Long Do Ants Live Without Water?
Without water, ants can only live around 5 to 10 days before drying out.
Summary: Do Ants Drink Water?
To summarize, yes ants drink water. Ants need water to survive. It prevents them from drying out and allows their bodies to function. Hence, they make it a point to collect water for themselves and the colony.
Ants drink water by using their mouthparts. These mouthparts have specialized parts that allow them to lick and suck water. They drink water from different sources including puddles, dew, and household sources.