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White-Footed Ant

White-Footed Ant is a medium small (2.5-3 mm long),black to brownish-black ant with yellowish-white tarsi (feet) and a one-segmented waist. A member of the subfamily Dolichoderinae, White-Footed ant have five abdominal segments, 12-segmented antennae, few erect hairs, and no sting.


White-Footed Ant

Many small to medium sized black ants foraging in tight trails that sometimes branch. Foragers on walls and vegetation. Foragers tend honeydew-producing insects as well as visit flowers. When disturbed, ants will run in small erratic circles but will not turn gasters over their bodies. Blacker and stouter than Argentine ants, but similar in size and foraging behavior. Body sizes slightly variable, but no obvious size differences.

The WFA nests at or above ground level in numerous locations within the landscape and home. Nests are frequently found in trees and bushes, tree holes, under palm fronds and old leaf boots, under leaves on trees, in loose mulch, under debris, in leaf-litter (both on the ground as well as in rain gutters), wall voids, and attics. Nests tend to be found outside of structures more than inside. Preferred nest sites provide proximity to moisture and food sources, and protection from predators and environmental extremes. Numerous nests can be said to constitute a colony, but since all neighboring colonies seems to be interconnected, there is probably no way to delineate the limits of a single colony.

White-footed ants are often found foraging along branches and trunks of trees and shrubs. They feed on plant nectars and honeydew, a sweet substance produced by many sap-sucking insects such as aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. White-footed ants are known to protect honeydew-producing insects from attack by other insects. white-footed ants are strongly attracted to sweet foods (Figure 4). They also eat dead insects and other types of protein

Life Cycle : Perhaps the key to the WFA’s evolutionary success is its ability to reproduce in large numbers, especially considering that it doesn’t have the obvious defensive capabilities of many other ants such as a venomous sting, chemical sprays, or soldiers with strong, biting mandibles. Nearly half of the entire WFA colony is composed of fertile, reproductive females called intercastes that are usually inseminated by wingless males.


White-Footed-Ants Feeding

Although dealate queens are rare, winged males, which are short-lived, and winged females are released from the colony yearly, usually between July and August in South Florida. These forms copulate during a nuptial flight and found new colonies. Brood (eggs, larvae, and pupae) begin to develop under the care of the founding queen and the nest population increases. Foragers bring back food resources that they share with nestmates through the production of non-viable trophic eggs.

The dealate queen is eventually replaced by the intercastes, which can form further new colonies by a process called budding in which the intercastes leave the old colony with other nestmates and brood to establish a new nest site.

Management :Outside, ants trailing on sidewalks, foundations and the sides of buildings are usually quite visible. Workers, laden with food or water, can be seen returning to colony nests. These trailing ants can be followed to the nesting site or where they enter structures. Foragers follow structural guidelines, maintaining contact with sidewalk edges, edges of patio slabs and ledges. They will find entry to structures by way of limbs and trees that contact the walls or roof. These ants can be found in piled items and in damp, shaded areas. Inside, the ants will nest in wall voids and in potted plants. They forage along the baseboards and the upper and lower surfaces of carpets.



Damage :All palms, especially coconut, sable, or queen, most fruit trees, large ficus trees, gardenia, hibiscus, ixora, many plants having showy flowers with sweet nectars and most plants which are infested with aphids, scales, mealybugs or other sap-sucking insects.

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