Black-headed Sugar Ant

A Black-headed Sugar Ant crawling on a wall

Scientific Name: Camponotus nigriceps

Size: Total Length 8-14mm

What does it look like?

The Black-headed Sugar Ant has a black head and abdomen (gaster), remainder of body brownish. Body smooth with sparse short hairs, longer and most numerous on the abdomen (gaster). Major workers (“soldiers”) larger than minor workers and with larger head, more powerful jaws.

Where is it found?

Found throughout eastern and southern Australia, from north-eastern Qld, through NSW, Vic and SA to southern WA.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Black-headed Sugar Ant inhabits open grassland and dry sclerophyll forest, where it forages mainly at night for nectar honeydew from insects that secrete it, but will also feed on small invertebrates. Often enters homes, attracted by sugary substances. Nest is excavated within sandy soil in open ground or, occasionally, under a rock, and contains a single queen. The ants of this genus do not have a sting, but aggressively defend their nest and are able to inflict a painful bite and spray offensive chemicals from the gaster.

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Cover of the book, A Naturalist's Guide to the Insects of Australia

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Insects of Australia

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