Banded Sugar Ant

Family Name

Camponotus consobrinus

Characteristics

Type:

Crawling – Biting

Size:

The ant is polymorphic and relatively large. It measures around 0.2-0.6 inches.

Colour:

Banded sugar ants come in a variety of colours, possibly due to ecological rather than genetic influences. Females have the orange-brown band, while males are completely black.

Behaviour:

Banded sugar ants are the dominant group of nocturnal ants in their range. Workers are mostly encountered at dusk when they are foraging for food on marked trails. These ants also forage during the day, but they are more frequently seen at night. They are also more active during the warmer seasons, especially summer. Banded sugar ants use multiple social techniques to make other ants follow them to a food source; this includes a worker carrying another worker, tandem-running, or simply leaving a pheromone trail to the source. Around 2–35% of foraging workers engage in tandem-running.

Banded sugar ants will often attack the nests of other ant species at random, while ignoring other ants nearby. They use their mandibles to hold opponents and use formic acid to kill them.

Habitats

Banded sugar ants are found in urban areas, eucalypt forests, dry evergreen woodland, grasslands and heaths, preferring a habitat with balanced supply of moisture. Nests are found in a variety of sites, including holes in wood, roots of plants, twigs of trees and shrubs, between rocks, in the soil and under paving stones.

Tips for Control

The banded sugar ant is considered a household pest and is occasionally seen in houses at night, capable of damaging furniture and fittings by chewing the wood, carbon disulphide is used to treat and remove a banded sugar ant nest. These ants do not pose any threat to humans, as they are incapable of stinging and can only spray formic acid, however, the larger soldiers are capable of inflicting a painful bite with their powerful jaws and the formic acid they spray is corrosive to human skin.