Velvety tree ants measure about ¼ inch. The head and thorax are red-brown in color while the abdomen has a black velvety color which gives this ant it’s nickname.
Most people we come into contact with refer to these as tree ants. A velvety tree ant may crawl onto and bite a person who is working outside in the yard. Active trails of foraging workers easily can be found on the trunks of trees where these ants live. This ant typically lives outdoors where it primarily feeds on the honeydew produced by aphids, mealybugs and scales that infest trees, shrubs and other plants. They nest outdoors in dead and rotting wood and are associated with tree holes and dead limbs in trees. A nest may be found indoors due to moist wall voids. They are often associated with water leaks in the plumbing or windows.