Camponotus japonicus (Japanese Arched Carpenter Ant)
This variety of carpenter ant originates from Asia, specifically Japan and Central China. It's a large bulky species of ant, with queens measuring upto 18mm! It's bold, black shiny appearance makes it a visually a rather striking species.
Like the queens, workers are typically black and 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.
They are a fast species of ant when agitated and will spray formic acid! However, this ant is suitable for beginners as very hardy and relatively slow growing. Due to the nature of their natural environment, these ants are active throughout most of the year but would benefit from a short hibernation period between January - March.
It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild.