Common Name: Acrobat Ant
Scientific Name: Crematogaster
The crematogaster or acrobat ant is found worldwide. There are about 10 species found all over Florida. Crematogasters are small to medium size ants form 2.6 to 3.2 mm long. They are called the acrobat ant due to the flexible way the worker ant holds it abdomen (gaster) up over the rest of its body. They vary in color from light red to brown to black. They possess a stinger that may or may not be exposed (everted). Only one queen to each nest.
Acrobat ants are also known as the Valentine ant because of their heart shaped gaster, its most distiguishing characterestic. They have also been called the cocktail ant, becuse of raising their gasters in the air when alarmed.
They nest in rotting wood and trees. There is one colony of acrobats living together although thy may occupy more than one tree. They use hollowed out entries made from beetles, cossid moth larvae, catellpillars, termites and do no actual harm to the trees.
They are scavengers and have been seen tending to sap sucking insects.