Painful stinging ant in Texas (Daniel, Hebbronville, Texas, USA)


Hello,
I have a question about a type of ant we have here in south Texas. Here in Hebbronville we have an ant that sound very much like the Paraponera ant. The ant has a VERY painful sting and it is large and black. The sting is much more painful than that of our native gold scorpions. just wondering what type of ant this may be. They live at the base of older Mesquite trees and my grandparents use to call them "palmoranas" thats a Spanish word for these ants.

Thank you,
Daniel


Dear Daniel,

There are over 140 species of ants known from Texas. You can see a list of the species and images of most of them here.

Without seeing the ant it is hard to be sure what species you are encountering, but I can tell you it is not Paraponera clavata since this ant is not found that far north. You can see a map of the known distribution here.

The ant with the painful sting is likely a species of Pachycondyla if they mostly forage on the ground. These ants are know to be aggressive and have painful stings when disturbed. On the other hand if the ants run up and down the mesquite tree then they could be a species of Pseudomyrmex, which can also have painful stings.

I hope you continue to observe all the diverse and beautiful ants around you!

Corrie Moreau & the AntAsk Team

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