Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events

Agressive Camponotus? - Formica

Agressive Camponotus? - Formica
St. John's, Northeast Avalon, Newfoundland/Labrador, Canada
May 27, 2006
Size: 8 mm Body
While on a walk in the woods today, I decieded to bring home a couple of 'bugs' that I found so I could photograph them. I made the mistake of putting these two different 'bugs' in one jar. I had already collected the ant and then, alsmost immediately after I added the fly to the jar, the ant pounced on the fly. Nothing that I could do would make the ant release it's grip. The fly held the ant all the way home and throughout the entire photo session. Everywhere the ant walked, it carried the fly with it. I wanted to photograph the ant alone but it refused to release the fly. As a result, I'm not sure if I should post this kind of image here. If it's not appropriate, let me know and I'll delete it. I didn't intend to have the ant attack the fly. In fact, I was rather astonished at just how agressivly this ant behaved. I'm looking for an ID on the ant. To me, it looks like some type of Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus). Ideas?

Images of this individual: tag all
Agressive Camponotus? - Formica Agressive Camponotus? - Formica Agressive Camponotus? - Formica Agressive Camponotus? - Formica

Moved from Formica.

Moved from Ants.

Possibly A Formica...
I'm guessing that this is more likely a Formica or your basic 'black field ant' from the Formica fusca group of ants, possibly a Formica's a species I find in Nova Scotia and which likely ranges up into your area, and they can get quite large and sometimes behave with surprising aggression. They're typically fast-moving, alert, and tend to have an up-standing 'leggy' look about them when compared to some of the other fusca-type Formicas I see. The site has a good picture of this species plus related species if you want to have a boo... The main reasons I'm not thinking carpenter ant is because I don't see the typical rounded 'wheel back' top profile on the thorax or the 'reverse' antennae, with the segmented outer portion above the elbow bend seeming slimmer than the half next to the head. Formica ants tend to have fairly smoothened but more uneven thorax profiles and their antennae always look 'normal', at least to me!

I agree, Formica
I looked at the Formica photos at and I agree that the ant I photographed looks more like the Formica group than my original suggestion.  Your Formica glacialis suggestion is also one that looks indistinguishable from mine as far as I can tell. Thanks for correcting my original mis-ID. I've only been photographing 'bugs' a few weeks and there is soooo much to learn.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.