Workers are 2-4 mm long and usually dark brown. Antennae are 12-segmented, and lack a club. The scape extends beyond the posterior border of the head by approximately one-half its length. The maxillary palp is six-segmented. The thorax is slender and divided into two parts by a constriction; the pedicel is one-segmented. These ants tend aphids and are general scavengers in narrow columns. Nests are built below ground, and colonies contain 2000-3000 workers. Workers usually forage atnight, and individual workers may become so engorged with honeydew that their gasters are distended like a balloon.

False honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Fig. 9.6h) Workers are 2-4 mm long. The body color is variable, ranging from yellowish brown to dark brown, and sometimes blackish brown; the head and thorax are often lighter in color than the gaster. The body appears shiny and smooth, and the setae are pale yellow and abundant on the head and gaster. Nests in natural habitats are located in moist clay or loamy soils in well-shaded sites. Indoor nests may be established in small cavities and wall voids. The nest has a single opening surrounded by a mound of earthen pellets. Colonies contain 2000-3000 individuals. Brood production is completed in late summer and no brood overwinters in the nest. Winged reproductives emerge in April and May; this species is one of the earliest to produce reproductive swarms in spring. New colonies are formed by fertilized queens, who establish a primitive nestin a soil cavity. Natural food includes dead insects, fruit juices, and plant sap, but is primarily honeydew. The abdomens of workers often become greatly distended and balloon-like; they may become so enlarged thatthey have difficulty walking. This engorgement behavior is similar to true honey ants (Myrmecocystus). Indoors they feed onmeat, bread, sugar, and fruits. This species is native to North America, and it occurs from Nebraska to Ontario, Canada and south to Texas and Florida.

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