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Red Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Red Pavement Ant, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 9/29/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Red Pavement Ant  
Picture of Red-Pavement-Ant

A scavenging Red Pavement Ant colony can take over a swath of sidewalk, proving that small things can make a big impact.

The colonies of the Red Pavement Ant are usually seen on sidewalks, or driveways, on concrete or asphalt. Stepping on one results in many ants crawling up the shoe and leg that can potentially bite. They are not poisonous, but their bites can pinch. Their presence is enough to cause people to walk around them and not through them.

Scouts for a colony will constantly search for food and other resources. Red Pavement Ants often quickly find dropped food items and, in little time, completely cover the food item with their bodies.

Though ants are typically associated with a fondness for sweets, they will consume any food. Because of this, they can become house pests. If a few scouts find food resources inside a building or home, they will infest the area. There small size and great number make it difficult to control and infestations are best treated by a professional exterminator. Preventative measures, such as sealing cracks in the foundation and removing wood debris from the sides of homes or buildings, may help avoid infiltration. Keeping food contained reduces the likelihood that scouts will find anything worth returning for.

The Red Pavement Ant is a member of the Formicidae family. Large colonies are built with at least one queen ant laying eggs for a living. This allows for rapid reproduction. Some males and females are winged (called 'alates') and mate in flight. Both genders then lose their wings; males die and females land and begin a new colony. Eggs are laid and cared for and kept underground until they hatch.

Red Pavement Ant Information

Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common Name: Red Pavement Ant
Scientific Name: Tetramorium caespitum

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Hymenoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Formicidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Tetramorium
       Arrow graphic Species: caespitum

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 3 mm to 7 mm (0.117 inches to 0.273 inches)
Identifying Colors: red, brown
Additional Descriptors: infestation, sidewalk, biting, stinging, harmful

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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