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Big Headed Ants , are 2.4 mm and 3.8 mm long. Front half of head sculptured, back half-smooth and shiny. Two-segmented petiole, where postpetiolar node is distinctly broader than long and subangular on each side. Twelve-segmented antennae with three-segmented club.
Big Headed Ant
Big Headed Ants are small, light brown to reddish brown to nearly black, dull ants. Often foraging in columns. Two worker sizes, although the major (larger, soldier worker) is rare. Majors may appear near baits. Majorâ€™s head is disproportionately larger than body. No workers intermediate in size will be found. Slow moving.
The big-headed ant, Pheidole dentata is a native species of Pheidole commonly found in the southern United States. They nest in exposed soil, under objects on the ground, in rotting wood, and tree stumps and in piles of debris on the ground. This is the most common species of Pheidole in the southern states.
Pheidole dentata primarily lives outdoors, and only occasionally is an invader of structures. They commonly nest in the soil around structures, and as conditions change, chronic infestations involving these ants may be encountered. Natural foods of this ant consist of live and dead insects, seeds and honeydew. In the home they feed on meats, grease, liver, fruit juices and peanut butter. They may prefer high protein foods.
There are multiple queens in the nests and nests are interconnected. New colonies are formed by budding whereby one or more queens with attendant workers leave an existing nest and walk to a nearby location. Rarely are new nests established by flying, mated queen ants.While these ants can sting, the sting does not cause discomfort to humans.
Big-headed ants are particularly active in late summer, autumn and early winter. They nest outside in the ground and only occasionally invade dwellings when populations outside are very high. However, invasions of dwellings can be severe. These ants prefer meat or fat/oil-based foods..
Infestations of big-headed ants are characterised by lines of inter-connected holes and small mounds of excavated soil. Excavations can be so extensive that brick paving is destabilised and the roots of plants and the lawn can become so aerated that the plants subsequently die by drying out. Often the small worker ants are hard to see, but foods put out for pets can become covered in ants.
Big Headed Ant nest
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