These mutated arthropods, of order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae, and genus Camponotus (commonly called carpenter ants) were exposed to large levels of radiation. However, what really caused this rapid evolution and adaptation to the wasteland, creating what is known as a giant ant ("big fucking ant" to some) was exposure to Force Evolutionary Virus lingering in the fallout. Their increased mass and strength makes them highly dangerous to large prey and even humans, as their mandibles are capable of cutting through leather, plastic, and even bone. Their exoskeleton can shrug off punches and most kinds of blunt trauma, but remains vulnerable to firearms and sharp weapons. Great ants are also quite sensitive to antennae trauma. Damage to their primary sense organ reliably sends them into a frenzy, attacking anyone and anything in the vicinity. Like their forebears, ants have a strong swarm instinct and will attack prey in packs or double-down to protect the nest if their queen is threatened in any way.
They make a loud chattering noise with their mandibles and are better adjusted to daylight than their California cousins. There are four variants of these ants: Workers, soldiers, queens, and the mutated forager ants.
Ant nectar can be occasionally be looted from their corpses and refuse piles (found in their lairs).
Ants usually attack in droves of 3-5 head on. They don't try to flank enemies, but will surround them if they get close enough. Their mandibles can pack a punch to lower level players, but they are not wholly damaging to higher level players.If their antennae are crippled, ants will frenzy and attack everything around them, including their own kind.
Only found dead throughout the Capital Wasteland, not much is known about this variant.
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.
Melee (5 Damage)
Giant ant queen
The mother of the ant brood, this variant is roughly four to five times larger that your average giant ant. When threatened, her wings buzz about and she will hiss at the enemy. She will then proceed to spit an acidic saliva at the enemy in an attempt to ward it off.
Ant queens are not very fast, though they do seem to notice you from a distance and shoot spit with surprising accuracy. The queens are generally considered to be one of the "boss" characters in Fallout 3 as they have extremely high health (about half that of a super mutant behemoth) making them one of the few creatures in the Capital Wasteland that can survive a Nuka-grenade blast.
There are only three in Fallout 3: in Marigold Station, Shalebridge and the Corvega Factory. The Marigold ant queen is the queen of the fire ants that have been harassing Grayditch. She was mutated by doctor Lesko in an attempt to create smaller ants with a chemical mutagen that would be injected into the queen ant, but instead fire-spitting giant ants resulted (for a more detailed description see the fire ants page).
Invader ants are a species of ant found in Shalebridge that, as their name suggests, are invading the colony of the forager ants (see below). The have the same health as a worker ant so they can still pack a punch for low level players.
These ants are friendly and won't attack the player. They are small for mutated ants and live in the Shalebridge tunnels. They are being attacked by the ant researcher and ordinary giant ants. They make their food with the ant nectar piles in the corner, and adding a stimpak or two to the egg pile will ensure a healthy ant offspring. Destroying the enemy ants will allow them to survive.
There are several dead giant ants outside Megaton. Given that the scouting report from the vault 101 Overseer's terminal mentioning giant ants outside of Megaton is from 2241, it can be assumed the ants were killed by the Megaton gate guards.
A colony of friendly forager ants can be found in a cave in Shalebridge. Unlike most giant ants, this colony is peaceful towards humans. It is under attack by a hostile, more aggressive colony of rival giant ants. The player can help the forager ants by traveling into the rival ant nest and killing their giant ant queen and they can stimulate growth of the colony by injecting the egg clusters with stimpaks. These forager ants are the same as any friendly non-player character, they will become hostile if attacked. If you shoot one the others won't attack you unless they are about two feet away. They are extremely small for regular wasteland ants, are very weak and will only do about three HP damage.
PlayStation 3Xbox 360 A glitch may occur where once you kill the fire ant nest guardian and leave, the Marigold ant queen will glitch/crawl through a wall near the exit and stand in your way, trying to attack you. with some effort you either can jump over her legs to the side and escape (or, of course, kill her).
PlayStation 3 There is a glitch that may occur when you get close to the first defeated nest guardian where the queen will teleport to your location.
Concept art for the giant ant queen.
Giant ant concept art.
Concept art for giant ant pupae.
Concept art for giant ant mounds.
↑Vault 101 terminals; Overseer's Terminal, Report 2241-02-10: "We encountered a group of monstrous ants which appeared to confirm Mackay's theories of mutation due to extended exposure to radiation. We drove off the ants with gunfire and collected several specimens for study upon return to the vault (see Exhibit A)."
↑Fallout Bible 1 Fallout Bible 0: "3. Are the radscorpions a product of the FEV virus? When you talk to the doctor, Razlo, in Shady Sands, he tells you that they were once American Emperor Scorpions but that he has no idea how they mutated because radiation alone couldn't have done it. For that matter, what about all of the other creatures of the wasteland? Which ones have been mutated by FEV and which ones haven't? Maybe in the bestiary each creature could have a stat that shows it's level of FEV infection." "Answer:
The radscorpions are a result of a combination of radiation and the FEV virus, and Razlo in Shady Sands is correct - they were originally Emperor Scorpions that have grown... big.
FEV-Infected Critters in the wasteland include almost all the ones you've seen in F1 and F2: Mantises. Most species of rats. Gecko lizards. Brahmin Scorpions Ants Various varieties of plants, including the Venus Flytrap. Rumor has it some dogs were affected, but no one's seen any, so for now that's just rumor. Of course, the centaurs are a mash of human, dog, and various other parts... but hey, who knows how that mutation came about. Grey was probably messing around in one of his labs.
Creatures not mutated by FEV probably did not survive the aftermath of the Great War, with the possible exception of cockroaches... and perhaps normal ants, though there are FEV-infected versions of these species.
No one knows where those bird noises in Vault City came from.
I'll try to include a chart of FEV-infected creatures in future additions as well as other critters that you may not have seen in F1 and F2. Most likely a great majority of insects were affected (they tend to breed much faster, and their mutations tend to become evident pretty quickly as the generations advance), possibly beetles, some spiders, cockroaches, and other creatures."
↑Enclave field terminals; Enclave Field Research Terminal (silo outpost), Field Entry: Giant Ant: "Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Hymenoptera Family: Formicidae Genus: Camponotus I've determined with near certainty that the aboriginal Ants are of the genus Camponotus. My best guess would be that a majority of the ants encountered are black carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). However, given that this particular genus consists of over a thousand different species, classification has been difficult. Prior generations of the genus were only considered a nominal threat to humans, but their social and fiercely territorial nature, combined with the greatly increased mass of current varieties has made them extraordinarily dangerous. The antennae of the ant is the primary sense organ, and soldiers report disabling this to be a successful tactic, as it sends the ant into a frenzy whereupon it attacks anything nearby, human or ant."
↑Simple critters, Giant Ant: "Giant ants are nothing to be laughed up. What they lack in individual fortitude, they make up for with relentless attacks and swarm tactics. Their exoskeleton isn't particularly thick, but it can turn aside weak punches and dull knives. Their mandibles can cut through most leather and plastic with ease, even snapping bone on a lucky shot. Giant ants become particularly aggressive when their queen is threatened."