Common Name(s): Acrobat Ant
Workers are one size, between 1/16 inch and 1/6 inch depending on species. Color is variable, but frequently the head and thorax are reddish-brown and the abdomen is black. They have two backward-pointing spines on the thorax. The waist (pedicle, the narrow segments at the front of the abdomen) has two nodes, and is attached to the upper side of the gaster (part of the abdomen following the waist). The gaster is heart-shaped and is often held upright over the body when the ants are disturbed.
Origin and Distribution
Of the 27 species known of acrobat ants known from the United States, 17 occur in Texas. C. punctulata, C. laeviuscula and C. minitussima occur widely throughout the state, six species are found only in eastern Texas and eight occur only in western Texas. Although acrobat ants have a stinger, they seldom sting. sometimes acrobat ants will enter houses near windows.
Habitat & Hosts
Acrobat ants sometimes forage in columns. Although they seldom sting, they can bite. While some species produce exposed nests, many nest under objects, in rotten logs, or are cavity nesters in shrubs or trees. Their colony size is usually a couple thousand members. They are omnivorous; many tend aphids and occasionally east dead or living insects and sometimes can be attracted to sweets or meat.
Egg, larva, pupa and adult
ManagementIf you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.
These ants nest in water-damaged or water-stressed wood similar to carpenter ants. Indoors, they are found in building voids and insulation. Outdoors, they are found in soil, leaves or wood. They will trail and enter buildings by any means. They are active during the day, and prefer sweet foods. They often feed on the sugary excretions of honeydew-producing insects (e. g. aphids or scales).