Maricopa Harvester Ant

The most venomous insect in the world is the Maricopa harvester ant. They contain the most toxic venom, which is made up of amino acids, peptides, and proteins. The ant attacks its prey by latching onto the victim with its pinchers and injecting the venom as many times as possible before being dislodged.

The venom is 12 times more powerful than that of a honeybee. It only takes 12 stings to a kill a rat, and it would take around 350 stings to kill a human being. That sounds like a lot of stings, but it would add up quickly if you were attacked by many of them at once.

When a Maricopa harvester ant stings its victim, it releases pheromones that signal other ants in the colony to join the attack. The pain from the sting is also measured as one of the more painful on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, coming in at a Level 3 (just one below the highest).

The Maricopa harvester ant can cause anywhere from four to eight hours of pain after stinging its victim. They spend most of their lives in desert areas and are most commonly found in Arizona.