Acrobat Ants

four Acrobat Ants (worker ants) beside a US penny for scale purposes
Acrobat Ants (genus: Crematogaster) (note the heart-shaped abdomen) (specimens from New Gloucester, Maine; 6/8/2021)
closeup view of an Acrobat Ant (also called a Valentine Ant because of the heart-shaped abdomen)
Closeup view of an Acrobat Ant (These ants are also called Valentine Ants because of the heart-shaped abdomen they possess) (specimen from New Gloucester, Maine; 6/8/2021)

Acrobat Ants belong to a genus, Crematogaster, whose members are characterized by a distinctive heart-shaped abdomen, giving rise to one of their other common names, Valentine Ants.  They are more common in the southeastern US than they are in the Northeast, but are nevertheless encountered from time to time in our region, especially in homes or structures located in wooded areas since these ants are arboreal and prefer to nest in trees, firewood, and rotten wood.  Beneath rocks is also a common place to find them, but they prefer to nest in moist, soft and decaying wood, and periodically end up in homes via various avenues such as along electrical and telephone lines or tree limbs that are touching one’s home, or also from fences, decks, or even small openings around doors, windows, vents, etc.  Sometimes they will establish a nest inside the walls and insulation of a home or other structure.

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