Camponotus auriventris (Silver Haired Carpenter Ant)
This variety of carpenter ant originates from Asia and parts of Australia, specifically tropical areas of China such as Yunnan. It's a medium sized species of ant, with queens measuring upto 14mm!
It's striking silver hairs gives a metallic sheen like appearance to its gaster. Like the queens, workers are typically black/grey. Additionally, they are polymorphic, meaning that workers as small as 4 mm (minors) and individuals as large as 12mm (majors) will develop to coexist within the colony and routinely manage their tasks between them. In the wild, nests are often found amongst stones and decaying wood in the floor/soil level of rural regions.
Moreover, it's been studied that these species are actually rather efficient pollinators of plants, specifically the Bottle Brush Tree as it transports pollen from one flower to another when enticed by nectar secreted by these! Therefore scientists say that these are a good bio-indicator species of the ecosystem.
They are a fast species of ant when agitated and will try bite. However, this ant is suitable for beginners as very hardy and relatively quick growing. Due to the tropical nature of their natural environment, these ants are active throughout the year and do not require hibernation.
It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild.