BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies & Moths Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)

Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Black Carpenter Ant

Loading SVG image placeholder
Image Credit: Image copyright www.InsectIdentification.org; No Reproduction Permitted
Full-sized image of the Black-Carpenter-Ant Thumbnail image of the Black-Carpenter-Ant
Image Credit: Adam B. Lazarus (public domain)
Full-sized image #2 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant Thumbnail image #2 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant
Image Credit: Steve K., taken in California, MD
Full-sized image #3 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant Thumbnail image #3 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant
Image Credit: Image copyright www.InsectIdentification.org; No Reproduction Permitted
Full-sized image #4 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant Thumbnail image #4 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant
Image Credit: Image copyright www.InsectIdentification.org; No Reproduction Permitted
Full-sized image #5 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant Thumbnail image #5 of the Black-Carpenter-Ant

The large and bulky Black Carpenter Ant is an unwelcome house guest for good reason.

Updated: 04/21/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Black Carpenter Ants are almost gigantic compared to other ant species. Recognized mostly by size and color, this type of ant also has one segment at its waist and a long abdomen with lightly-colored gray-black hairs on it. They are glossy and completely black. Their antennae bend just after coming out of the head. Males have wings and fly, as do potential queens. From late spring to the middle of summer, they form swarms as they are actively trying to breed.

Their name suggests that it is an ant that builds, and it does that very well. The building locations of Black Carpenter Ants nest can make them quite a nuisance for humans. Carpenter Ants are unlike termites as they do not eat wood, but they do make a home in it. They build colonies of up to 10,000 ants in dead trees, telephone poles, wood piles and sheds, under house insulation, or even inside the walls of houses. Worker ants cannot fly and live to solely to serve the one queen in a mature colony. Solitary scouts are sent to forage for food and return to the spot with more ants later. The queen ant produces eggs quickly, and it takes little time for a small colony to grow into a massive one. A large colony will even begin expanding into smaller satellite colonies if space is limited. Infestations can cause a lot of damage and are best removed by a professional exterminator.

Black Carpenter Ants do bite, though they cannot sting. Another defensive maneuver they use is spraying formic acid at a possible threat. (All members of the family Formicidae build up an internal store of natural formic acid and use it to ward off predators.) Black Carpenter Ants feed on plant juices, fungus, food scraps, and even other insects. Most food foraging is done under cover of night, though they have been seen at breakfast on kitchen counters and stove tops eating leftover crumbs. ©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Black-Carpenter-Ant

insects; honeydew; fruit juice; sugar grains; sweet processed foods; sweet organic foods
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.InsectIdentification.org. It is the product of hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, educators, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at InsectIdentification AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.

General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting icon
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Harmful insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Formicidae
View More
          Genus: Camponotus
View More
            Species: pennsylvanicus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Other Name(s): Carpenter Ant; Eastern Black Carpenter Ant
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 13mm (0.23" to 0.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; brown; yellow; gray
Descriptors: hairy; biting; jaws; sprays; acid; formic; harmful; flying; kitchen

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 13mm (0.5in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 9.5mm
Hi: 13mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Black Carpenter Ant may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Black Carpenter Ant. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Sitemap
Beetle Identification Butterfly Identification Caterpillar Identification Spider ID Fungal Infections on Insects Nursery Web Spider Official State Insects Termite Basics Insect Molting Process Bugs of Tennessee House Centipede JoroSpider.org

2024 www.InsectIdentification.org • Content ©2006-2024 InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved. The InsectIdentification.org logo, its written content, and watermarked photographs/imagery are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and is protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (regarding bites, etc...).Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. By submitting images to us (InsectIdentification.org) you acknowledge that you have read and understood our Site Disclaimer as it pertains to "User-Submitted Content". Images in JPG format are preferred with a minimum horizontal dimension of 1000px if possible. When emailing please include your location and the general estimated size of the specimen in question if possible. Please direct all inquiries and comments to insectidentification AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

©2024 www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2006-2024 (18yrs)