Camponotus floridanus (Florida Carpenter Ant)
A bicoloured, arboreal Carpenter Ant found in the Southeastern region of the USA, particularly, Florida.
This large (queens measuring upto 20mm), active species of ant has a very dinstinctive colouration contrast as the gaster is shiny black whereas the upper body (thorax & head) is shiny red/orange.
As their common name suggests, C.floridanus is in fact, a true carpenter ant and will make usage of any soft materials (i.e. decaying wood) to nest in. In fact, colonies have been reported in human households throughout the state of Florida.
Whilst these ants are aggressive and are not easily scared away, they are unable to sting. Instead, they rely on biting and clamping mechanisms combined with usgae of formica acid produced in their gaster.
As with other species of the Camponotus genus, there are different worker sizes within the colony. The smallest being minors and the largest usually referred to as majors. The latter almost measuring as large as the queens themselves!
In terms of growth they are quite fast to develop once the colony reaches 20 workers and over. Due to the nature of their natural environment, these ants are active throughout the year and do not require hibernation.