ID guide | introduced ants


There are many important identification characters for ant species that are only possible to detect while the ant is alive. Select taxa from the sidebar to watch video clips. Note that the measurement units of the rulers are all in millimeters. Many of the 'sugar' baits are cottonballs soaked in a sugar solution, in case you are wondering what the weird white blobs are.

If you notice behaviors that can aid in identification, please leave comments. The videos, which are hosted by Vimeo, are machine-tagged to appear on the relevant Encyclopedia of Life taxon page. Click on the video clip's  'vimeo' link to see the full video description, download the video, or embed it in another webpage.

Here are a few questions to note in the field before you collect your specimens.

Does the species move slowly and deliberately or does it move rapidly in jerky movements?
Does it forage in a neat line or a more chaotic pattern?
Does it nest in dead wood, under stones, in the bare soil?
What does its nest entrance look like?
Does it feed at the bait for a long time staying in the same place, or does it move about nervously?
Does it recruit in large numbers, or are foragers mostly solitary?
Does it respond aggressively towards other species, or does it respond passively or timidly?
Does it prefer sugary baits or baits with more protein?
Are the foragers monomorphic, polymorphic or bimorphic?

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith