Q:

What are small ants with wings?

A:

Quick Answer

Small ants with wings can be acrobat ants on their nuptial flight. To create a colony, the new queen needs to mate. When the new queens and males hatch, they have wings. The males take flight first, then the new queens follow and mating takes place.

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Full Answer

After the queen mates, she chews off her wings and begins building a colony. She most often chooses a site with rotting wood, such as an old stump, tree limb or log. She might take over the abandoned dens of carpenter ants or termites or find rotted places in a home. Acrobat ant queens then lay their eggs.

The first brood of ants are weaker than subsequent broods, but they still take care of the queen and tend to her other eggs and larvae. Worker ants make the nest larger and leave the colony to look for food.

Acrobat ants are brown with black, heart-shaped abdomens and are 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. All the workers are the same size. They can be found just about everywhere in the continental United States. They get their name because they arch their abdomens over their heads when they're disturbed.

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