I was fortunate to attend the Greater Houston Pest Control Association, which I am a member of the Board of Directors, monthly membership meeting. We were fortunate to have as our speaker, the Guru of ants in Texas, Dr. Donald McDonald of Sam Houston State University. Dr. McDonald was discussing invasive species of ants invading the great state of Texas. He was updating us on the feared Rasberry Crazy Ant which is a complete discussion on its own.
Dr. McDonald wanted also to introduce our membership to the Parachycondyla chinensis, Asian Needle Ant. He expects Texas Pest Controller to expect to identify this ant in Texas in 2013. It is not a new ant because has been along the East Coast for many years. The ant is an invader from Japan. The naked eye they are skinny black ants. Entomologist like myself use additional keys. Do not pick them up because they have a powerful sting, worse than a Fire Ant. Check out the stinger in this picture above. Fortunately they are not aggressive like Fire Ants. They like undisturbed areas like in forest but have ventured out and hide under debri found in the landscape.
Texas is blessed with many animals but another ant to join the ranks of 238 ant species is not a claim to fame.
I like this picture because you can tell the marked differences between an ant and a termite. Ants have an obvious mid section called the petiole. Ants antennae have an elbow. Worker ants have eyes and termites don’t.
Should you run across an unusual ant on your property, call JNJ and I will come out and try to identfy it.