Little Black Ant

Introduction.  This ant gets its name from its very small size and jet-black coloration.  It is a native species and is found  throughout the United States, especially in the eastern half of the U. S., in the southern half of California, and the San Francisco Bay area.

Recognition.  Workers monomorphic, about 1/16” (1.5-2mm) long; queens about twice as long.  Color dark brown to black, typically black.  Antenna 12-segmented, with 3-segmented club. Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly rounded.  Pedicel 2-segmented. Very similar to Pharoah ants, but little black ants are black instead of being yellowish to reddish.  Stinger small and weak.

Habits.  Inside, nests are located in woodwork, decaying wood, and masonry.  They feed on grease, oil, meats, fruits, vegetable materials such as corn meal, and sweets. Outside, they nest under stones/rocks, in rotting logs, in lawns, or in open areas.  The workers feed on other insects, honeydew, and plant secretions.  They forage in trails which can commonly be seen on foundation walls and along sidewalks outside.

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