Red Imported Fire Ant
Pest Solutions of Tampa Bay
Small to large shining, dark brown gaster with remainder of body reddish. Multiple worker sizes, ofter forage in distinct trails. Mounds in soil during wet season are dome-shaped with many openings. Highly aggressive. If disturbed ants will rush out and attack in large numbers.
Nest Sites & Characteristics
Nest in exposed soil or lawns, especially bordering concrete or pavement. After rainfall, nests in sandy soil are rebuilt with sponge-like surface. If disturbed, workers will pour out of the mound and up the leg of the offender. Nests have single queens in most areas, but multiple queen nests exist. Alates are large, rotund, winged ants that fly early summer at high altitudes then land, remove wings and may congregate in groups in crakes and crevices on the ground or under objects.
2.4-6 mm (1/8-1/4) long. Polymorphic. Ten-segmented antennae with two-segmented club. Two-segmented petiole. Medial clypeal tooth usually present, mesopleuron densely sculptured. Subfamily Myrmicinae.