Trap-Jaw Ants

Official Name

Odontomachus

Size

9-13 mm

Color

Black and Dark Browns

Geographical Location

Found in Tropics and Subtropics Regions throughout the World

Common Household Location

Lawn, Garden and Kitchen

Identifying Characteristics

  • Trap jaw queen ants can be around 13 mm, slim build, blacks and dark browns.They are monogyn (normally one queen per colony).
  • Workers 12 mm, slim build, blacks and dark browns.
  • Trap jaw queens tend to have a similar appearance to that of their workers.

Official Name

Odontomachus

Size

9-13 mm

Color

Black and Dark Browns

Geographical Location

Found in Tropics and Subtropics Regions throughout the World

Common Household Location

Lawn, Garden and Kitchen

Identifying Characteristics

  • Trap jaw queen ants can be around 13 mm, slim build, blacks and dark browns.They are monogyn (normally one queen per colony).
  • Workers 12 mm, slim build, blacks and dark browns.
  • Trap jaw queens tend to have a similar appearance to that of their workers.

Notes

Commonly known as trap-jaw ants, species in Odontomachus have a pair of large, straight mandibles capable of opening 180 degrees. These jaws are locked in place by an internal mechanism, and can snap shut on prey or objects when sensory hairs on the inside of the mandibles are touched. The mandibles are powerful and fast, giving the ant its common name. The mandibles either kill or maim the prey, allowing the ant to bring it back to the nest. Odontomachus can simply lock and snap its jaws again if one bite is not enough, or to cut off bits of larger food. The mandibles also permit slow and fine movements for other tasks such as nest building and care of larvae.