Little black ant

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Monomorium minimum
Monomorium minimum casent0173040 profile 1.jpg
Scientific classification
M. minimum
Binomial name
Monomorium minimum
Buckley, (1866)

The little black ant (Monomorium minimum) is a species of ant native to North America.[1] It is a shiny black color, the workers about 1 to 2 mm long and the queens 4 to 5 mm long. It is a monomorphic species, with only one caste of worker, and polygyne, meaning a nest may have more than one queen. A colony is usually moderately sized with only a few thousand workers.[citation needed]

Monomorium minimum are scavengers that will consume anything from bird droppings to dead insects. They are predators of codling moth larvae, and also of fall webworm.[2][3] Workers may forage in households, but nest in soil mounds. It also tends aphids such as the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), harvesting honeydew.[4]

During mid-summer the queens and males perform the nuptial flight, mating in midair. The males die shortly after. Each queen constructs a new nest, sheds its wings, and lays eggs. The development from egg to adult takes about a month.[citation needed]

In a laboratory setting queens were found to live about one year and workers about four months.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Monomorium minimum. AntWeb.
  2. ^ Tadic, M. (1957). The Biology of the Codling Moth as the Basis for Its Control. Univerzitet U Beogradu.
  3. ^ Warren, L. O.; Tadić, Milorad (1967). "The Fall Webworm, Hyphantria cunea, Its Distribution and Natural Enemies: A World List (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)". Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 40 (2): 194–202. JSTOR 25083620.
  4. ^ Herbert, J. J. and D. J. Horn. (2008). Effect of ant attendance by Monomorium minimum (Buckley) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on predation and parasitism of the soybean aphid Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Environmental Entomology 37(5), 1258-63.

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