Mystery solved, its an oddly big, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, a rather large and healthy Black Carpenter Ant at its full maximum size.
No further discussion.
I'm not very familure with Ants of the world... but I do know all my ants locally. Big and small, real or fake (eg: cow killer ant is a wingless
Today I was suprised, sitting, calmly, on my deck cover outside... was a massive ant. I freaked, I had to catch it. I had never seen a ant that
big... or was it an ant at all? I did not know!
I quickly caught it. Astonished it did not struggle to get out of the ziplock bag I had handy.
These are my observations on this ant.
It looks close to, but not exactly like, an Argentina Ant. Also to be noted, its close to a Pavement Ant as well, however to my knowledge, are not in
Florida... both Pavement Ant and Argentina Ant are 1/16ths - 1/8ths of an inch long. They both bare similar trates and colorings and markings.
However, this ant has some unique markings... and thats nothing compared to its size. I soon messured it to find out just what length this ant was.
1/2 of an inch (give or take a few, I cannot get exact messurement (eg: 1 part longer or shorter than half an inch, as I do not want to crush the
thing in the plastic, it was already pinned as it was just to get the photo that I will soon show).
The ant's attena, head, and legs are the only things that bare resemblance to those other two species, I looked hard and long at many photos and
websites for those two ants and also for other species. From .EDU to .COM and pest control to college websites for ant species in Florida. Nothing
matched the exact markings, shape, and size. Not even winged/unwinged male drone & young queen versions match this ant right. Even if you put wings on
After further study, I noticed the ant was rather caring for itself. It always cleaned its attena, sitting still in one place while doing so. Its a
very calm and gentle beings. If I pin it gently between the plastic, it struggled to get out, runs around to find a safe spot, then just sits. If I
poke it through the plastic, it keeps its attena locked to my finger; if I move away it does not pursue, nor does this ant try to bite or sting the
plastic. It consistantly keeps its attenas moving around it's enviroment without moving its body.
Upon close observations, this ant does have a stinger and large jaws. It is making no attempt to escape, lay eggs, bite me, and so forth. Though I do
not wanna be bit or stung, I will not pick it up outside of this bag so do not ask me too.
Im posting this here because I cannot locate the species type, period, online. I will soon be letting it go as well, and see how it reacts in the
wild to other ants and animals. However, I believe this big ant could kill a small to medium sized venomless American Wolf Spider if it had to... it
does seem powerfull all around, and a hard exoskeleton... but neither aggressive nor defensive unless I really, really, try to kill it.
Here are the images for quick linking and such, all together.
If you know specificly what kind of ant this is, please say so and I will correct myself. I want specific matchs. No queen, drone, or warrior of any
local species matchs this ant specificly in size and body parts both.
HOWEVER: DO NOTE I LIVE IN ONE OF THE MOST POLUTED COUNTIES IN THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT, It COULD be a mutant. The odds of that are unlikely, but
considering its size and oddly passive nature, it can be considered.
I will be releasing this ant soon to see if it goes to any colonies.
[edit on 17-3-2006 by Foxe]