Crematogaster

Workers are 2.5-4.0 mm long, and distinguished by their broad head and heart-shaped gaster. They usually have a reddish-brown head and dark brown to black abdomen. The upper surface of the gaster is flat, the ventral surface is curved, and it is distinctly pointed posteriorly. Antennae are 11-segmented with a three-segmented club. The epinotum has apair of spines, and there is a two-segmented pedicel. Nests in natural habitats are above ground in posts and stumps; they do notnestin soil. Indoors, nests are in moisture-damaged structural wood. Colonies contain 2000-3000 workers. These ants are general feeders and are abundant in peridomestic habitats. The common name, acrobat ant and cocktail ant, is derived from their habit of raising or cocking their gaster over the head and thorax when disturbed.

Crematogasterashmeadi (Fig.9.5a) Workers are 2.6-3.2 mm long. The body color is variable, ranging from reddish brown to blackish brown for the head and thorax. The head is shiny, and the dorsal surface of the thorax is finely punctate, but appears shiny; the side of the thorax is distinctly punctate. Epinotal spines are normally shorter than the distance between the base of the spines. Erect setae are sparse on the body, especially the thorax. Nests are usually above ground, in cavities in trees, logs, and stumps. Indoors they nestin structural wood, such as rafters, and posts. Natural food includes live and dead insects and honeydew. Indoors they are omnivorous, but prefer sweets and meat. This species is native to North America and occurs from Texas east to Virginia and south to Florida.

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