4
$\begingroup$

These insects lived inside the wood of my bed in little round holes. They bite, lеаving very itchy red marks. And when crushed stink really bad. In the picture the lines are notebook lines for size comparison. I live in Eastern Europe, so I don't think they are fire ants, if they are ants at all. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ About how large is it? It looks like you took that picture on a piece of lined notebook paper, but that still can't tell us the exact size of the insect. How many millimeters are between the lines of your paper? $\endgroup$ – user137 Sep 3 '14 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ The lines are 8mm appart $\endgroup$ – user9078 Sep 4 '14 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ If the lines are 8mm apart, the ant is about 2.3mm, making this consistent with pharoah ants and ghost ants. $\endgroup$ – user137 Sep 4 '14 at 18:19
5
$\begingroup$

This looks like an ant, but I cannot say which species. Their small size, colour, bite and being found indoors made me think of Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis), but I haven't heard that they smell bad. Ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum) are rather similar and have a foul smell when crushed, and have been found indoors in Europe. They usually have a dark head/thorax and ligher abdomen though. They can also be separated from Pharaoh ants by having a one segmented petiole (the pharaoh ant has two). A closely related species to the Ghost ant is Tapinoma sessile, which also smells but has a uniform colour (usually darker than your specimen though, see picture at bugguide.net). Since the petiole cannot be clearly seen in your specimen points towards the two latter species, or other species with a short/hidden petiole (see hidden petiole at antkey.org). However, these are only a couple of suggestions, and there are probably many other possible species.

Termines have larger mandibles (jaws) relative to their size, and no distinct narrow division between thorax and abdomen (your specimen does). Your animal also has eyes (termites don't) and I think you can spot a long first antenna segment, which ants have (hard to see in the picture though)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Good call on the eyes. I had to zoom in quite a bit to finally see them but they are there. I think I agree more with your answer than mine. $\endgroup$ – Michael S Taylor Sep 4 '14 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ I have attached couple more pictures. I believe it also has a stinger. (Sorry about the quality, but due to the size of the insect and using a magnifying glass and a cell phone I couldn't make better shots) $\endgroup$ – user9078 Sep 4 '14 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ While there are some wingless hymenoptera species that can resemble ants, I feel pretty certain that this is an ant. I'm not specialized in ants and cannot determine the species. It might be difficult to get a species determination from these pictures, but you should be able to get a genus from an ant expert. Another option could be Tapinoma sessile, which is closely related to the Ghost ant, also smells, but with a uniform colour (usually darker than your specimen though). $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Sep 4 '14 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ The size of this ant is about 2.3mm, consistent with pharaoh ants. $\endgroup$ – user137 Sep 4 '14 at 18:20
2
$\begingroup$

I can't tell you the species but it appears to be a termite. The Australian Museum explains some of the differences between termites and ants. Termites have straight antennae. Ants have bent antennae with a distinct elbow. Your insect has straight antennae without an elbow. Termites have a broad waist. Ants have a very narrow waist. Your insect appears to have a broader waist. You also find more at The University of Florida. I'm not an entomologist and I do not live in Eastern Europe so consider my answer with a degree of caution. If you have a pest control company nearby, you can take the specimen to them for verification, in case it is a termite species capable of home damage.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.