Common Name:  Black Carpenter Ant
Scientific Name: Camponotus pennsylvanicus


Kingdom : Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Formicidae

Genus : Camponotus

Species: C. pennsylvanicus

 

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In North America there is an ant called Camponotus pennsylvanicus. It’s common name is the black carpenter ant. It is black and red and small. They are mainly located on the eastern side of America. The purpose of this essay is to explain the interesting life of the black carpenter ant.  

 

This ant is well adapted. The black ant is polymorphic, meaning that it varies in size from ¼ - ½ inches long. Carpenter ants can be black or bicolored  red and black. It has adapted to camouflage black and red with the trees of Eastern America. The distinct characteristics of the carpenter ant are that they have a thorax that is smooth and evenly rounded and a petiole with 1 node. This ant emit’s a strong odor when disturbed. All of these distinctions are ways this ant has adapted to survive.

 

The carpenter ants seem like they would be present everywhere in the world, but they are not. They are only found in North America. There are too many carpenter ants for scientist to count.  Their nests contain several thousand individuals and consist of extensive networks of galleries. Their population is not threatened in anyway and therefore they don’t have a conservation status. Carpenter ants are in North America because of the moist and humid environments found on forest and woodland ground.

 

Carpenter ants have few things that they eat, but they have many predators.  They feed on dead and living insects, such as aphids. Also juices of ripe fruit, preferring anything sweet. There niche is that they break down wood and clean the environment of pests. They forage late in the day or at night. Some of the predators that eat this ant are spiders ,toads ,frogs ,wild turkeys, salamanders, and woodpeckers. To prevent being eaten they hide in poison ivy bushes and other plants that protect them. They also bore into wood. Woodpeckers can root out entire colonies of these ants!

 

The importance of the black carpenter ant is that it cleans the environment of dead wood and preys on insects we consider pests. What stands out about the black carpenter ants is that when they are disturbed they emit a strong odor to ward off predators. I think that the carpenter ant is useful to the environment but also can be a pest to humans because they can make wooden structures unstable by boreing into them.

 

Author: Aaron C.

Date Published 03/13

Published: www.imp.ucdavis.edu, www.bugguide.net, www.antweb.com
Photo Credit: http://bugguide.net/node/view/508273