Physical Characteristics

The velvety tree ant is small, around 1/16 inches long. Its abdomen is velvety black in color, its thorax is yellowish red and its head is brownish black.

Velvety Tree Ant

Velvety Tree Ant


Velvety tree ants occur in large colonies with a single queen. Colony nests can be found in trees, stumps, underneath stones and along streams; in some areas of Mexico, velvety tree ant larvae – collected from the agave (tequila) or maguey (mescal) plants – are mixed with guacamole and prized as a delicacy. Indoors, the velvety tree ant enters in columns searching for sweets. This ant will travel up to 200 feet from its nest, which can be troublesome for picnickers. Velvety tree ants are known for the stinky odor that is omitted when they are crushed; the smell is similar to a rotting coconut.


Keeping the velvety tree ant from entering your home is important: cut away tree branches that contact your house, and get rid of decaying parts of trees on your property. Once the velvety tree ant gets inside, your best bet is to call Clark Pest Control, as this ant is difficult to control.

Latin name: Liometopum occidentale