Velvety Tree Ants

Velvety Tree Ant in Seattle, WA

Velvety tree ants get their name from their smooth velvety abdomen. The name of “tree ants” comes from the fact that most species of these ants make their nests in trees. The workers are between 1/8? to ¼” in length. The abdomen is glistening velvety black. The mid-section is reddish and the head is brown. If someone crushes a velvety tree ant worker, it releases an unpleasant odor. The workers also give off that odor if the colony is disturbed. The workers do not sting, but they bite if the nest is disturbed. Velvety tree ants make their nest in the crooks of trees. Depending on the location, they nest in oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, and pines. They also nest in the soil under rocks and inside logs or stumps.

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Velvety Tree Ant Description

  • Color: velvety black abdomen with dark head and reddish thorax
  • Size: 1/8 to 1/4 inch
    Feed on: sweets, honeydew, and insects
  • Nests: nest in dead wood, such as old trees and logs; may also infest structural wood and insulation
  • Identifying Characteristic: this ant gets its name from its glistening abdomen made up of dense, fine hairs; it has a very distinct odor when crushed
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