Acrobat Ants

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acrobat ants eating some gel ant bait

 

Acrobat Ants Can Be Found In Washington DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia

For the most part, acrobat ants are only occasional structural pests. Their name is derived from the acrobatic pose of the workers when they are alarmed, with the abdomen raised and arched above the head and thorax. The pose resembles that of the scorpion's arched tail. Some types of Acrobat ants are aggressive and emit a repulsive odor when the colony is disturbed.

Acrobat ants nest in a variety of sites, usually in dead wood, including branches and stems of trees and other plants, rotten logs, tree holes, and stumps. Nests may also occur in the ground beneath objects and inside empty nuts and insect galls. Some species may be found in abandoned wood and galleries formed by bark-boring beetles, caterpillars, and termites in trees. Colonies of Acrobat Ants can range in the tens of thousands of ants. Structural infestations often originate from a nest outside in a tree, stump, or log. Inside, they nest in woodwork, particularly door or window frames that have been damaged by insects or moisture. A disturbing habit is their infestation on foam core panel insulation. Acrobat ants feed on both live and dead insects and honeydew. Many species of acrobat ants build carton sheds to cover the homopterans they tend. In households, they feed on both sweets and meats.

Acrobat ant workers are 2.5 to 3 mm long, and vary in color from yellowish brown, to brown, to red and black, or black. They have a pair of spines on the propodeum and a stinger. Their antennae are 11-segmented with a 3-segmented club. Acrobat ants have a two-segmented pedicel, the post-petiole which articulates with the top of their heart-shaped gaster.

 

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