Camponotus ants are known as “carpenter ants” because they build their nests in wood, usually in logs or dead branches. This species of carpenter ant is unusual because it likes to build its nests in soil. These ants usually have a beautiful chestnut-colored head (the species name castaneus means chestnut-colored) and a pale orange/yellow body. Like most carpenter ants, this species is strong! The workers and soldiers need strong jaws to build their nests, to carry prey items home, and to defend their colony against any threat to their home. A biting carpenter ant has another special defense – these ants can spray formic acid when they bite an intruder. These great defenses help Carpenter ants thrive, even though they can’t sting!
See a video of a queen and workers at YouTube.