• Spiders
  • Beetles
  • Bees & Ants
  • Butterflies & Moths
  • Grasshoppers & Crickets
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • True Bugs
  • Insects By State
  • Carpenter Ant - (Camponotus spp.)

    Carpenter Ant - (Camponotus spp.)

    North American Carpenter Ants may vary in color by region, but they are all mammoths in the Ant family.

    Staff Writer (8/22/2014): Carpenter Ants are the largest ants on the continent. They are fond of tunneling through dead or decaying wood to build colonies. This has led to infestations in homes, offices and other buildings. Though they begin building by boring through weak wood, they can also chew through healthy, living trees if the colony needs the space. A colony has one queen, many workers and some scouts. In order to prevent re-infestation of buildings, the egg-laying queen needs to be killed. Professional exterminators are usually necessary to eliminate large infestations in human habitats.

    Their huge jaws are adept at shaving timber, eating other insects and drinking plant juices. Though they are not poisonous, the bite of a Carpenter Ant can hurt thanks to the large mouth parts. Carpenter Ants are also able to spray formic acid from the tip of the abdomen, which may irritate skin and eyes. Carpenter Ants do not have stingers.

    The diet of this ant is varied. It eats other insects, plant juices and the 'honeydew' secreted from the bottoms of aphids. (Most ants 'shepherd' aphids in order to collect this sweet liquid.) Carpenter Ants do not eat wood, they just live in it.

    In hot summer months, Carpenter Ants are more active at night. An old, established colony will eventually produce long-winged males and queens called alates. The winged ants fly out of the colony to mate, creating new or satellite colonies. Swarms of alates are usually seen in the spring. This is the only time ants will develop wings and they only do it for this purpose.

    ©2005-2017 www.InsectIdentification.org. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from www.InsectIdentification.org is strictly prohibited. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.

    Details of the:
    Carpenter Ant

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Carpenter Ant
    Scientific Name: Camponotus spp.

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Formicidae
           Genus: Camponotus
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 6mm to 13mm (0.24in to 0.51in)

    Identifying Colors: red, black, brown

    Additional Descriptors: large, jaws, mouth, big, fast

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

    BUGFINDER: What Kind of Bug is This...
    BUGFINDER allows for a quick search of the Insect Identification database by selecting primary color, secondary color, number of legs and the territory / state in question. If only one color is present on your insect, select it again as its SECONDARY color. Remember that the more details you can offer, the better your chances of finding a match. As a rule of thumb, six legs are typical for most insects whereas spiders generally have eight legs.
    Primary Color:
    Secondary Color:
    Number of Legs:
    State / Province:
    General Category: