A Golden Ant, Camponotus festinatus

Not everyone gets to see the workers of this golden-colored ant, Camponotus festinatus.


The workers forage at night, often as single individuals.


This is a desert species, found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The workers feed on honeydew or eat other insects, as with many ants in the genus Camponotus.

Scientists have found quite a bit of color and morphological variation between Camponotus festinatus workers from different areas, and suggest it might be a complex of species or subspecies.

These photos were taken in the low desert, where the workers tend to be lighter in color.

I’d love to learn more about them. Have you ever seen one?

8 Replies to “A Golden Ant, Camponotus festinatus”

  1. I agree,to my unqualified eye they look the same.They also seem to have a uncanny sense of direction and regardless of how many times i tried to disorientate this ant it always headed east.At face value some may ague that it was merely following a pheromone path laid down by others but even releasing it in front of our yard produced the same results with no pause or disorientation.I think polarisation on a biological level is inbuilt in many species on our planet, somewhere along the way mankind has lost that connection and sadly we will have to step back a few paces for us to see the bigger picture.

  2. No, carpenter ants live in wood, but they don’t cut down trees. They don’t live in the outside part where the tree is living, but deep inside where the wood is not living.

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