Yes, ants do have antennae. They have a pair of antennae connected to their heads. Ants use these antennae to smell, feel, and communicate.
In this article, we’ll learn more about the ant antennae as we discuss the following:
- What type of antennae do ants have?
- Parts of the ant antennae
- Functions of the ant antennae
What Type of Antennae Do Ants Have?
Ants have geniculate or elbowed antennae. These antennae have a distinct bend or angle between 2 segments. They’re bent almost like a knee or elbow joint.
Parts of the Ant Antennae
The ant antennae consist of a number of discrete segments. These segments are called antennomeres. They make up 3 basic parts: the scape, pedicel, and flagellum. 
The scape is the first and largest segment of the antennae. It’s an elongated basal segment attached to a socket on the ant’s head. This socket allows the scape to move and rotate freely.
Following the scape is a shorter segment called the pedicel. This segment contains a sensory apparatus called the Johnston organ. It also contains muscle connections that allow for greater control over antennal movement.
The flagellum is made up of all the remaining segments of the ant antennae. They’re otherwise known as the clavola. They’re made of individual segments known as flagellomeres.
These flagellomeres contain sensory receptors innervated by the brain. Ants may have 3 to 11 of these segments depending on the species.
Functions Of The Ant Antennae
The antennae are highly sensitive sensory organs. It is through them that ants are able to forage, navigate, and most importantly, survive.
Their main functions are as follows:
Smell And Communication
The antennae function as the center of the ant’s olfactory system. They are highly sensitive and provide ants with an acute sense of smell.
These antennae have more than 400 distinct odorant receptors. They provide allow ants to identify a wide variety of odors. In fact, these receptors provide ants with chemosense. This chemosense allows them to detect chemical substances in their environment. Through it, they can detect food and communicate with each other through pheromones.
For instance, when ants forage they make use of their chemosense to find sugar and other types of food. When they’re successful, they then head back to their nests, while leaving a pheromone trail. This trail marks and communicates the path to the food source to other workers.
Ants also use their antennae to sniff out friends from foes. Ant colonies smell different from each other. They each have their own proportions of hydrocarbons on their cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. With chemosense, ants have the ability to detect these differences. Ants that smell differently are treated as intruders and with aggression. 
Lastly, ants also identify the dead by sniffing out death pheromones. When ants die, they emit a chemical called oleic acid. This oleic acid triggers necrophoric or ant funeral behavior. See this article to learn more about what ants do with their dead.
Ants also use their antennae to feel. The antennae of leafcutter ants, for example, are equipped with thermosensitive receptors. These receptors allow them to detect minute temperature changes in an instant. This allows them to react accordingly to the conditions of the environment. 
In some ants, the antennae are also used as tactile stimuli. African weaver ants, for example, antennate to recruit other ants for food collection.
Why Do Ants Rub Their Antennae?
Ants rub their antennae to remove dirt and keep them clean. Ants use their legs to brush off pollen and other dirt. This ensures that their antennae are clean and in perfect condition. Otherwise, they’d be less effective in finding food, detecting signals, and communicating.
What Happens When Ants Lose Their Antennae?
The effects vary between species. Some ants become less effective in foraging and identifying intruders. There are also those that show no noticeable changes in performance despite the loss. 
Summary: Do Ants Have Antennae?
To summarize, ants have antennae. They have 2 geniculate or elbowed antennae attached to their heads. These antennae consist of multiple segments.
They make up three basic parts: the scape, pedicel, and flagellum. Each of these segments contains sensory receptors. They allow ants to feel, smell, and communicate.