War between social insects, usually ants against other ants. Though it takes place on a much smaller scale than human warfare, the insects will be regimented like human soldiers and use tactics familiar to humans. This familiar association makes political allegory all but inevitable.

Expect lots of ZergRush, as in real life. Not to be confused with BugWar, where regular-sized humans are at war with BigCreepyCrawlies.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In the ''Manga/HelenESP'' chapter "Helen and the Dream", [[spoiler: two warring ant colonies turn out to be who Helen has been advising. This results in a bit more... complex war than normal.]]


[[folder: Comic Book ]]

* The indie comic (now webcomic) ''Army Ants'' is this, patterned loosely after GIJoe. The ants, with their allies the beetles, crickets and ladybugs, fight hordes of bees, hornets and wasps, not to mention fighting predators and going on special missions like stealing cinnamon (an insecticide) from a kitchen.
* ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'' had a strip titled, appropriately enough, ''Ant Wars'' which pitted giant ants against humans.


[[folder: Film - Animated ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'', the BigBad, an ant general, sends a troop of soldiers loyal to the current queen into a battle against a colony of much larger and stronger termites that [[SuicideMission they cannot win]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'', a swarm of marching locusts (who were merely called 'grasshoppers') constantly terrorize a colony of ants, stealing their food. The ants eventually rise up against their oppressors, resulting in this trope.
* WesternAnimation/TheAntBully has a subplot about a war of the ants with the dragonflies, though by the end they go EnemyMine against the larger threat, the Exterminator and by the end it seems they have struck a permanent peace.
* Seen in ''Film/MinusculeValleyOfTheLostAnts''. A group of black ants is carrying a box of sugar cubes come across a squad of villainous red ants who promptly launch pursuit. This escalates into a war once the black ants reach their ant hill and they're helpless before the larger numbers and militaristic power of the red ants. They have a number of fireworks to turn the tides with, but only a single match, so the ladybug protagonist is sent into a search for a box of matches for its friends to use.
* ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice''. In the lyrics to "You Are Worthress, Arec Barrwin," which plays over the closing credits:
--> Pranet Xiron is inhabited with Xipods rike me
--> But arso with Balmacs who are giant bees
--> The Xipods and the Balmacs are at constant war
--> So we wanted a new home and that's what Earf was for
--> But you are worthress Arec Barrwin, you are worthress Arec Barrwin
--> You fucked up my whole pran
--> And now Xiron is smeared with Balmac porren....


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Creator/TerryPratchett once depicted War (of the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse) watching a battle between red and black ants in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime''. He remarks to [[TheGrimReaper Death]] that while peaceful times among humans come and go, ants never seem to learn.
* In ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'', one of the animal transformations Merlyn performs on Wart is to turn him into an ant, and he finds himself in the middle of an ant war.
* Creator/BernardWerber's ''Literature/EmpireOfTheAnts'', especially the first book's battle between the ''Formica rufa'' (wood ant) and ''Linepithema humile'' (Argentine ant).
* Creator/GeorgeRRMartin wrote "Sandkings," a {{novelette}} about a species of warring, antlike creatures sold as pets. It doesn't end well.
* ''Literature/ProfessorMmaasLecture'' makes references to frequent termite-ant wars. [[spoiler:In the end, the war indeed erupts.]]
* Done in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' including one intentionally started war to get attacking ants off an unconscious Rachel. Said ants were ''eating her alive''.
** In fact, the Animorphs find it so bad, Jake vetoed any plan that relied on the team morphing a social insect. Their next attempt (bees), was only allowed because they promised the bee they would morph would be from the same hive that was in the mission area.
* ''A Rustle in the Grass'' by Robin Hawdon, about an ant colony fighting off an invasion by a more aggressive species of ant, told in a HeroicFantasy style.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The Discovery channels, mostly Science Channel and Animal Planet, have "Killer Bug Wars" documenting real life insect vs insect wars.


[[folder: Mythology ]]

* In a very old example of an UnbuiltTrope, Myth/ClassicalMythology, the soldiers Achilles commands in the ''Literature/TheIliad'' are called the Myrmidons, or, in Greek, "ant-people." This name came from their origin as ants turned into warriors by Zeus in answer to a king's prayer to repopulate his country after a plague. The word "myrmidon" has come to denote any mindless group of subordinates, and is essentially the source of the allegory on which this trope is based.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The ''Army Ants'' comic has been converted into an RPG, basically GIJoe on a microscopic scale. The ants operate tanks and aircraft and carry guns, but the players are expected to basically use their own backyard as the world setting. A sandbox becomes a desert, a lawn becomes a jungle, and so on. It is possible to play an ant commando escorting workers to steal the Cheetos your players are eating.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* The third act of ''The Insect Play'' by the brothers Čapek features two nations of ants (explicitly compared to human society) going to war over a path between two blades of grass, each fighting to exterminate the other.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'': The Punis aren't exactly insects, but their war with the "rival tribe" of mosquito like Jabbis plays out as this trope.
* Happens (perhaps without the metaphor) in ''VideoGame/SimAnt'', naturally.
* ''Battle Bugs'' is a RealTimeStrategy all about such a war.
* Somewhat in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', with a belligerent colony of ants half the size of motorcycles and a friendly [[note]]in gameplay terms, they don't attack unless provoked[[/note]] colony of ants the size of small dogs. You can help the underdogs win by killing the bus-sized enemy queen and injecting stimulants into the smaller ant's eggs (which helps somehow).
* The RealTimeStrategy game adaptation of ''Literature/EmpireOfTheAnts'' not only features wars with other ant species, but also against bees and wasps.
* ''VideoGame/BuckBumble'' is about a war between technologically advanced bees against a collection of mutated insects organised under a Queen over control of a rural English garden.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]]'' cartoon "The Fighting 69½th", red ants and black ants go to war over picnic food.
* One episode of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Jumanji}}'' animated series featured a war between giant red ants and black ants started over an artifact called the "Bahoot", which turned out to be [[SillyReasonForWar a big ball of black and red slime that had no apparent purpose]].


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Yes, ants really do have wars. But no tactics and strategy except [[ZergRush sheer numbers]]!
** Some do take slaves.
** One species has a special suicide bomber caste (the aptly known "exploding ant")