Camponotus pennsylvanicus


Common Names: Black carpenter ant
Category: Insects
Sub-category: Ants

The most common carpenter ant pest in the United States. Black carpenter ants are known to forage up to 100 yards in search of food. Black carpenter ants do not eat or digest wood, but they tunnel through wood, which can cause structural damage. C. pennsylvanicus can be distinguished from other carpenter ant species by the dull black color of the head and body, and by whitish or yellowish hairs on the abdomen. All castes of this species (including the major and minor workers, queens, and males) are black or blackish. Colonies' workers are not all the same size (polymorphism). The antennae are elbowed, usually with six to 13 segments.

Most commonly found in residential/urban areas with wood structures.

Edible Notes: Considered edible, but not recommended unless it's a survival situation. Tastes like vinegar due to the presence of acids.
Warnings: The black carpenter ant does not sting, but the larger workers can administer a sharp bite, which can become further irritated by the injection of formic acid, which they produce.
Sightings