Ants in Iowa, Common

Encyclopedia Article

Prepared by Donald R. Lewis and Laura Jesse, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University. A PDF of this information is available below.

Carpenter Ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus

  • 1/2 to 3/4 inch; 1 node
  • Black 
  • Evenly rounded thorax

Artist rendering of a carpenter ant

"Smaller" Carpenter Ant, Camponotus nearcticus

  • 1/4 - 1/2 inch; 1 node; Brown; red thorax
  • Evenly rounded thorax


Artist rendering of a 'smaller' carpenter ant

Field Ant, Formica spp.

  • 3/8 inch; 1 node
  • Brown to black
  • Thorax silhouette uneven in side view

Artist rendering of a field ant

Larger Yellow Ant, Acanthomyops interjectus

  • 1/4 inch; 1 node, Yellow-orange
  • Very small eyes


Artist rendering of a larger yellow ant

Odorous House Ant, Tapinoma sessile

  • 1/8 inch; 1 node that is not easily seen
  • Dark brown to black
  • Abdomen slopes forward over node

Artist rendering of an odorous house ant

Thief Ant or Grease Ant, Solenopsis molesta

  • 1/16 inch; 2 nodes
  • Light brown to yellow
  • 10 antenna segments, w/ 2 segment club

Artist rendering of a grease ant

Pavement Ant, Tetramorium immigrans

  • 1/16 to 1/8 inch; 2 nodes
  • Yellowish red; One pair of spines on thorax
  • Sculptured lines on head

Artist rendering of a pavement ant

Pharaoh Ant, Monomorium pharaonis

  • 1/16 inch; 2 nodes, light yellowish red
  • 12 antenna segments, w/ 3 segment club


Artist rendering of a pharaoh ant