Acrobat Ant


Actual Size: 2.5 to 4 mm

Characteristics: Light brown to black; abdomen is heart-shaped when viewed from above.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Swarmers or reproductive ants have wings.

Habitat: Prefers rotting and decaying wood. Often invades old termite or carpenter ant galleries. In homes and buildings, these ants will nest in wall voids around doors, window frames, and insulation.


  • Known for tending aphids and often infest areas with rose bushes, fruit trees, and shrubs.
  • Can create fire hazards and short circuits by stripping insulation off of electrical wires.
  • When disturbed, the acrobat ants will run around with their abdomen stretched above their heads.

Acrobat Ants in Memphis TN Metro Area

In Memphis TN Metro Area, acrobat ants can sometimes become a nuisance for home and business owners. These pests earn their name from the impressive acrobatic poses they adopt when alarmed, raising and curving their abdomens above their heads. Interestingly, their stingers resemble spatulas, enabling them to apply venom to their smaller prey. Similar to carpenter ants, acrobat ants have a knack for nesting in hollow stems, twigs, and occasionally soft, damp wood. These resourceful ants engage in mutualism by tending to aphids and feasting on the honeydew they produce. When acrobat ants decide to establish their nests indoors, they typically choose moist environments within wood or cavities, often exploiting water leaks to maintain the desired level of moisture.

Acrobat Ant Habitat

Out in the open, acrobat ants establish their nests in a variety of locations, often taking up residence within the lifeless wood of trees, encompassing branches, tree stems, and stumps. Although they don’t directly harm trees and shrubs, they form a protective alliance with aphids and other bothersome insects. When indoors, acrobat ants make their nests in wooden structures, occasionally occupying abandoned galleries previously constructed by carpenter ants and termites. When invading a household, they exhibit a preference for damaged doors and window frames, which have been compromised by other insects or moisture. While on the hunt for sustenance, these persistent ant pests show a fondness for kitchen cabinets and pantries. Their presence, whether inside or outside, serves as a telltale sign of decaying wood.

Acrobat Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The workers acrobat ants have a reputation for displaying aggressive biting behavior and emitting an unpleasant odor when provoked. It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience mild reactions that can persist for several hours to a few days. While their preferred nesting grounds do not typically include residential homes, they might seize the opportunity to establish colonies indoors. Alarming as it may sound, acrobat ants have been observed infesting foam core panel insulation. Furthermore, they can strip the insulation from wires, creating the potential for short circuits and an increased fire hazard. Should you suspect an acrobat ant infestation, it is strongly advised to seek the assistance of a professional ant exterminator.