Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Ant identification


Mystery Ant
Mystery Ant  

I live in Middlesex County, which is in central New Jersey.  We are in the midst of bathroom renovations and have discovered some ants have taken up residence somewhere in the bedroom closet (which borders the bathroom wall) or the bathroom.  I have seen them in both locations.  This particular ant was found in the sink today, but most of the others I have seen are just your everyday black ants.  I was just curious as to what type this is, I've never seen stripes before or the white body.  Thanks so much for your time.  

Kind Regards,


My apologies for the delay in answering your question.

Since this ant was found in the sink, the "white" stripes are actually the fleshy sections between the shell portions of the abdomen...in other words, this ant is full.  Probably full of water it took from the sink and is carrying it back to the colony to share.

As for the size of ant...if it is 3/8" or larger, I'm going to say that this is a carpenter ant.  There is a species called the Pennsylvania Carpenter Ant, or Black Carpenter Ant that is very common in the eastern US and nests in homes where there is water damage in the wall.  They excavate the damaged wood and nest there.  Walls and areas near windows, bathrooms and kitchens are popular sites.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs


I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.


22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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