Guide to Common Ants in Iowa

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

"Smaller" Carpenter Ant, Camponotus nearcticus

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

Field Ant, Formica spp.

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

Larger Yellow Ant, Acanthomyops interjectus

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

Odorous House Ant, Tapinoma sessile

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

Thief Ant or Grease Ant, Solenopsis molesta

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

Pavement Ant, Tetramorium caespitum

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

Pharaoh Ant, Monomorium pharaonis

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