The Carpenter Ant does not get around with a tool belt and a hammer! The Carpenter is a very large ant between 7-12mm long with varying colours from very dark black to chocolate brownish depending on the species. They have a very smooth rounded thorax with a circle of tiny hairs at the end of the abdomen. The workers have very large mandibles, given the work they do, these are required.
Like most ants, it undergoes a complete metamorphisis during it's development taking around 38-44 days. The Queen produces eggs which hatch into larvae that looks like a whitish coloured grub. The larvae are completely looked after by the colony and undergo a series of moults then the larvae pupates. Unlike other insects the ant pupa is soft and creamy white, a very similar shape to the adult ant. Once the adult emerages from the pupa the soft body requires cuticle hardening and this can take a few hours to a few days.
The Carpenter Ant nests in moist or decaying timber inside and outside of the home. They are mostly found in tree stumps or felled large timber carving out magnificent nests in the grain of the timber. The Carpenter ant will leave behind wood shavings in and around their nesting locations.
The Carpenter ant is mostly a night forager seeking out a variety of foods including dead leaves, insects and are attracted to sweets. They will also forage inside being opportunistic feeders.
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