Surprise! Camponotus festinatus

It finally rained in Arizona. But last week, before it rained, I chased out a bunch of Camponotus festinatus by watering the front yard with a hose.

Cool, there are males with the workers.


Males are usually dark colored, so it was interesting to see golden yellow ones.

In my haste to get a few photographs. I didn’t really notice the other ants around the males.


Like that really big soldier. What’s up with her?


Once I was back inside and the ants had retreated I downloaded the photographs and took a look. Hum, wing-scars on the alitrunk.

Blame it on the heat…

For more about Camponotus festinatus, see this previous post.

Have you ever missed the obvious while shooting photographs?

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?