Ants With Stripes: The Group You Had No Idea About

When we think about ants running around the house, we rarely envision ants as having stripes. While they are a little rarer than usual, there are a ton of different ants with stripes.

Ants come in many colors, but only some have stripes. Among the tiny ants, the pharaoh and black ants have stripes. In the medium size ants species, the yellow meadow ant has stripes. In the large ant category, carpenter ants have stripes, sometimes only visible when the abdomen is full.

In this 5-minute read, we will go over all the different types of ants with stripes – some of them you’ve probably never heard of.

What kind of ant has stripes?

There are not many ants with stripes. Noticeable body stripes are visible in tiny ants, such as the pharaoh and black ants. The stripes range from yellow on a black body to black on a yellow or golden body, and Crazy ants have yellow stripes on their dark brown gaster.

Predators associate contrasting color themes, predominantly yellow and black, with danger.

Color contrast also confuses prey.

Scientists have observed this phenomenon with zebras, where the white and black colors confuse biting flies.

zebra (What kind of ant has stripes?)
Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra) in open grassland, Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa

Stripes on insects make them distinct and blend in with the environment, avoiding detection by prey and larger rivals. (Source)

Yellow meadow ants and the crazy ants

The yellow meadow ants and crazy ants are part of the yellow ant’s species. The meadow ant is pale to golden yellow with a dark brown striped gaster. These mound ants are common in central Europe, Asia, and some US states. They are related to the yellow crazy ants and excavate large outdoor mounds like thatching ants.

The crazy ants are yellowish to brownish and about 5mm long.

They make erratic crazy walks if provoked. (Source1, Source2)

Common black garden ant

The black ant is prolific in most parts of the world and is most active in the summer months. As the name suggests, it’s black. More specifically, the queen and workers are gloss or shiny black. The black garden ants have light brown stripes on their abdomen.

black ants

Pharaoh ant

The body of the pharaoh ant is yellow or yellow with dark brown near the gaster. Pharaoh ants have black stripes on their abdomen. The pharaoh ant is found in the southern US states. It’s one of the smallest ants measuring between 1.8 and 3.5mm.

Pharaoh Ant

Carpenter ant

The Camponotus socius species found in Florida and the Hawaiian carpenter ant (Camponotus Variegatus) have stripes on the abdomen. The former has brownish-yellow stripes, and the latter has dark brown stripes on the abdomen’s top side. The Hawaiian carpenter ant is the largest in Hawaii.

The stripes on most other carpenter ants species are unclear.

These wood ants are black to black brownish.

The yellow stripes on the abdomen are only visible when the ant is fully fed, and the stomach is stretched. (Source1, Source2)

carpenter ant on a leaf

Do carpenter ants have stripes?

The Camponotus socius species native to Florida and the Camponotus Variegatus native to Hawaii have stripes. The majority of the other species, however, do not have noticeable lines. The yellow stripes appear on their outstretched abdominal segments only after the carpenter ants are fully fed.

What are ants with white stripes?

Unlike ants with black and yellow stripes on the body, ants with white stripes have them on their feet or antennae. The white-footed ants are in this classification, including the Technomyrmex species, which contains Technomyrmex difficilis. The ghost ant also has white patches.

White-footed ant (Technomyrmex Albipes) and The difficult white-footed ant (Technomyrmex difficilis).

The feature shared between these two species is their yellowish-white feet.

Technomyrmex difficilis has earned the adjective “difficult” because it’s tough to control due to its vast colony sizes.

These two types of ants inhabit Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina. They don’t bite, sting, or cause structural damage.

white footed ant

Their small segmented body is about 2.5-3mm long and is black to black-brownish.

White ants reproduce in considerable numbers to compensate for the lack of a stinger, strong mandibles, and formic acid.

They forage in swarms and attack enemies in large numbers. (Source1, Source2, Source3)

Ghost ants – Tapinoma melanocephalum

The ghost ant is a small ant with workers measuring between 1.3-1.5mm. The head and thorax are deep dark brown. This spineless and stinger-less ant’s legs, gaster, and antennae are milky white to opaque. It’s a species of the odorous house ants.

In contrast to the citronella smell produced by yellow ants, these odorous ants emit an odor similar to rotten coconuts.

Ghost ants thrive in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In the US, they’re prolific in Florida and Hawaii. (Source)

They live both in and outdoors. Indoor nests are made in wall cavities and voids like cabinetry and books. They also invade potted flowers.

Do acrobat ants have stripes?

The acrobat ant (Crematogaster lineolata) is a small ant type that’s not striped. Its body is brown to blackish and measures approximately 3mm. Nesting sites for acrobat ants are moist wood, fallen or rotting tree stamps, and dead wood. In some cases, they occupy abandoned carpenter ants or termite galleries.

Two primary ant identification features distinguish acrobat ants from other ants.

1: Acrobat ants have a heart-shaped abdomen, a feature seen from a dorsal view.

2: When provoked, acrobat ants raise the abdomen above the rest of the body, mimicking the shape of a scorpion.

They release a musty odor when threatened and spray formic acid on perceived enemies. 


Do red imported fire ants have stripes?

Red fire ants, common but non-native to the US, do not have stripes. Red ants have an exoskeleton with different colors for different body parts. The fire ants’ head and thorax are red or reddish, with a brown or black abdomen. Male fire ants are entirely black.

fire ant

What Ants Have Yellow Stripes?

The yellow ants have yellow stripes. These three related yellow ants have stripes on their dark-brownish abdomen. The three types are the crazy ant, the meadow ant, and the large yellow ant. The black-brownish carpenter ants also have yellow stripes.

In contrast to the yellow ant’s stripes, the carpenter ant’s yellow stripes are not obvious.

They show on the abdomen only when the carpenter ant has had a full meal.

black carpenter ant

Do Argentine ants have stripes?

The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is a small, aggressive, problematic Latin American native ant that’s not stripped. Due to human help, the invasive Argentine ants now live in many parts of the world, including the US. They’re fast hunters and outcompete native ants and insects for food.

These ants will quickly cause ecosystem imbalance, partly due to their eating behavior and constantly attacking animals in their ecosystem.

Worse, they practice inter-colony collaboration.

These ants seem to have some non-compete tactics that span outside their colonies, leading to the rapid formation of problematic super-colonies.

Argentine Ant

Are pharaoh ants harmful?

Pharaoh ants (Monomorium Pharaoni) are stinging ants and prick like other insects with a stinger. Due to their small size, though, the sting is harmless. Nonetheless, these tiny ants spread diseases and bacteria because of their scavenging and food invasion behavior.

The pharaoh ants forage indoors, invading kitchens, restaurants, or hospitals, searching for sweet foods and water.

They frequent garbage or rotting foods. In the process, they transmit bacteria and contaminate fresh foods.

They also infect pet wounds if they come into contact.

Keeping Ants Away From Dog Food

How do you get rid of yellow crazy ants?

You can control crazy ants using standard pest control methods before these ant species develop into super colonies. Trim back shrubs close to the walls. Apply repellents to holes in the walls. Ensure water leakages are repaired. Use chemicals specified for these ants.

Yellow crazy ants will eat sugars and proteins. They are highly susceptible to ant bait, which could help you eliminate them from the source.

Unfortunately, standard ant control methods may not work once these ants reach super colony status.

Large colonies can only be subdued using traditional field pest control methods.

Frequently Asked Questions

While we wish we could answer every single email, we thought we’d add some of the common questions and answers to the bottom of this post.

How many ant species are there?

It’s estimated that there are over 14,000 extant ant species globally and more than 1,700 subspecies. Using size as an ant identification feature, some ants are large and others tiny, and other species are medium-sized.

How big is an ant

Size depends on the ant species. The smallest ant is about 0.75mm long, and the largest is 52mm. Ant sizes also differ within a colony, and junior workers are smaller than super workers. Queens ants are usually the biggest ant in the nests.

What color are ants?

Ants come in many full body or body parts colors. The majority are black, brownish black, brown to black, red, or a mix or shades of these colors. Other ants have unique colors such as yellow, golden, green, and even white parts.

How to identify an ants species

Conduct ant identification using body features and habitation. Some ants are tiny, and others are large. Use color, and narrow down to parts such as head shape, antenna segments, and legs. Assess living conditions that vary from nest underground, on leaves, under, or inside dead wood.