Given name : Carpenter ant
Latin name : Camponotus
Physical characteristics : The carpenter ant measures 6 to 25 millimetres. The labour ant usually measures between 6 and 13 millimetres in length. The ants destined to reproduce are recognizable by their size, the males measure about 10 millimetres in length and the females 12 to 25 millimetres. The body of these ants is separated into three parts, the head, the thorax and abdomen. The thorax is connected to the abdomen by a slim waist . The antennas are bent and divided into many articulations. Both males and females have wings during reproduction period. The front wings are much longer than the back wings. The two-toned ant is a darkest brown with a red brown thorax, whereas the black carpenter ant is uniformly black. These two ants are the most common carpenter ants species in Canada.
Behaviour : The carpenter ants have the capacity to severely damage wood structures by digging passageways. Their presence in a house is often linked to humidity problems or rotting wood structures. Some carpenter ants even attack healthy wood. They enjoy resinous wood as well. Contrary to termites, they do not eat the wood but eject it in the form of sawdust. The accumulation of sawdust is a sign best not to ignore.
Diet : The carpenter ants feed themselves of both vegetable and animal matter. Insects and other small invertebrates and aphids produce a sweet liquid that the ants feed on. The protein and sweet sugar substances that are found in homes or their proximity will attract the labour ant. They consume their food on site and once they return to the colony they regurgitate to feed the larvae in it's development.
Reproduction : The carpenter ant reproduces in the spring. It is also possible to catch a glimpse of winged ants in the month of may. The ants mate in flight, the young queen can store male sperm for many years to come as to not be obliged to have contacts with males. Soon after the male dies and the queen parts with her wings by rubbing them with her limbs. The impregnated ant finds a location for a nest to lay her eggs and build her own colony. The first generation of ants will be responsible for maintenance, provisions of fresh supplies and expansion of the nest. The cycle of development of the ant will last between 47 to 74 days. A colony will be complete after 3 to 6 years of existence and will shelter about 2000 labourers. That is when the queen will begin to produce males and future queens to re-start the cycle.