Prenolepis imparis

School of Ants collection
Literature record

Prenolepis imparis


The winter ant, named for its tendency to forage well into the winter, digs nests deep into the ground. It is common throughout most of its range. In different places winter ants looks different (darker, larger, longer-legged, etc...) suggesting that perhaps the winter ant is really more than one species. The winter ant is one of few species able to coexist with invasive argentine ants. It does so by foraging in the cool months when the argentine ants are inactive. Winter ant nests can be very deep, in some cases as many as twelve feet. The queen of the winter ant typically sits at the bottom of the nest where she lays eggs and is brought food. At least part of the diet of winter ants come from aphids and scale insects. These insects suck on plant sap and in doing so excrete large quantities of "honeydew," AKA aphid poop. The winter ant carries that honeydew back to its nest in a special internal pouch called the proventriculus. These ants have no hands but they make do all the same.