Forelius Pruinosus

The Forelius pruinosus ant is found throughout parts of the southern and western United States. In 2013, the Entomological Society of America approved a common name for this ant – high noon ant. However, it’s important to note that this ant is not heavily studied or well-known.

Characteristics

SIZE: Forelius pruinosus ants are very small, measuring at most one-twelfth of an inch in length.

COLOR: Forelius pruinosus ants are dark brown, brownish-red or black in appearance.

Habitat

These ants are very hardy species and can be found living in virtually any climate, from hot and dry to cool and wet. Their natural preference, however, is for open fields. They most frequently construct their nests under rocks or other objects that come into direct contact with the ground. Compared to other species of ants, Forelius pruinosus nests tend to be relatively small, housing only a few thousand insects.

Threat to Humans

Again, there is very little known about this ant, including if there is any real threat to humans.

Food Sources

Forelius pruinosus ants are excellent scavengers whose diet consists mostly of the sweet honeydew produced by plant-feeding insects such as aphids, scales and mealybugs. However, Forelius pruinosus ants are omnivores who will also feast on dead insects and animal carrion.

Some people think that these ants can also be quite crafty. When they’ve located a good food source, they’ll use their mandibles to pile sand and small rocks up in front of the entrances to other ant nests, preventing them from foraging.

Reproduction

Mating, winged swarms of Forelius pruinosus ants typically appear in late spring and summer, from May to July. That is when the conditions are typically right for swarming. Reproductives will then mate and start new colonies.

Tips for Ant Control

Forelius pruinosus ants may be difficult to see because of their small size. If they do invade your home, these ants are omnivores, so they may be attracted to just about any food in your home. Following these tips can help prevent a high noon ant infestation:

  • Eliminating piles of lumber, bricks or other debris that could serve as a nesting site for ants.
  • Keeping landscape mulch less than two inches thick and at least 12 inches away from foundations.
  • Sealing as many cracks in your home's exterior as possible.
  • Maintaining a tidy home, making sure to wash dishes, clean tables, wipe countertops, mop and vacuum weekly.
  • Store food, including pet food, in airtight containers.

Other Interesting Facts

Some plants depend on the Forelius pruinosus ant for their survival. For example, when catalpa trees start sprouting their spring leaves, they begin attracting caterpillars. If left uncontrolled, these leaf-eaters can be quite harmful. To defend themselves, the catalpas secrete nectar designed to appeal specifically to Forelius pruinosus ants. The ants, in turn, protect their catalpa food source by driving off the caterpillars.