Crematogaster is an ecologically diverse genus of ants found worldwide, which are characterized by a distinctive heart-shaped gaster(abdomen), which gives them one of their common names, the Saint Valentine ant. Members of this genus are also known as cocktail ants because of their habit of raising their abdomens when alarmed. Most species are arboreal. These ants are sometimes known as acrobat ants.
Acrobat ants acquire food largely through predation of other insects, like wasps.[ They use venom to stun their prey and a complex trail-laying process to lead comrades to food sources. Like many social insects, they reproduce in nuptial flights and the queen stores sperm as she starts a new nest.
Nest Sites/Characteristics: Indoors, nests may be located where water damage has occurred, in decayed or damp wood or inside insulating wall panels and wall voids. Outdoors, acrobat ants nest under rocks or in logs, firewood or trees where decay allows them to tunnel under bark or into wood.
Workers trail along tree limbs, utility lines and rails of fences and decks, entering structures through cracks and holes around utility lines and or pipes, window frames and soffits. Workers also trail across the ground and enter through door thresholds and small openings. Acrobat ants are aggressive when disturbed and give off a strong odor.
Feeding Preferences: Acrobat ants eat a wide variety of foods, including sweets and proteins. Workers like honeydew from sap-sucking insects i.e. aphids, mealybugs etc. These ants also prey on termite alates and immature stages of cotton boll weevil, grape curculio and codling moths.
Heart shaped abdomen often bends up over thorax (as shown in picture to right) when disturbed.
Two node segments
11-segmented antennae, 3-segmented club
One pair of spines on thorax
Color varies from black to red and black
Quick to bite; emits a strong odor when disturbed
Monomorphic workers are one size, 1/8 inch.
If you have any question about this pest or any other pest do not hesitate to call First Response Pest Control at 214-864-0669 Proudly serving Lewisville, Flower Mound, Coppell, Highland Village, Lantana, Corinth, Lake Dallas, Argyle, Denton and Surrounding areas.