Black Ants (Camponotuscompressus)
Large, black and opaque body, with reddish brown legs and massive gaster; major workers with large mandibles, 11-16mm long and minor workers with smaller heads, 6-8mm long; distinct triangular-shaped node on petiole.
Complete metamorphosis (egg – larva – pupa – adult). Eggs are small and ovoid in shape. Larvae are fed by the adults. After several moults the larvae pupate.
There are 3 different castes of adults:
Male: Winged. Function is to mate with female.
Female: Winged until after mating. Largest in body size. This caste become the reproductive queen of the colony. Can live many years.
Worker: Wingless, sterile. Act as nest-builders, foragers for food, feeding larvae, looking after eggs and defence of nest.
Soldiers come from this caste. Normally live about 1 year.