The odorous house ants are ant species present in urban and wild areas, but most commonly, you can find them living outside buildings.
What is Tapinoma sessile? Tapinoma sessile is an odorous house ant known for a coconut-like smell produced by its body due to the release of formic acid. Moreover, they are brown or black in appearance and are 2.5 to 3.5 mm long. They like to eat honeydew and sweet food and prefer to live in moist places like water pipes, under the soil, and near heaters. Furthermore, they are not dangerous and live for almost 2.5 to 3 years.
The Tapinoma sessile is a peaceful ant that would not try to bite unless you are not interfering with them and run away when they detect a threat from you.
Facts About Tapinoma sessile
|Common name||Odorous house ants|
|Appearance||Brown and black|
|Size of body||2.5 to 3.5 mm|
|Eating habits||Honeydew, Fruit juices, Sweet food|
|Members in a colony||1500 to 10,000|
|Expected life||2.5 to 3 years|
What are common names of Tapinoma sessile?
Tapinoma sessile is the scientific name for odorous house ants commonly present in houses and are known for a particular smell.
They are also called odorous ants due to their rotten coconut-like odor that is strong enough to be easily detected when squished by hands.
It is easy to identify these ants by the distinguishing smell produced by their bodies and appearance. You can also use the name coconut ants for this species of insect.
They are also known as sugar ants according to their dietary habits because they like to eat sugary food material and get attracted to sweet food items.
So, they have got three common names based on their body smell and food preferences for high proteins and sugars like sweet juices and baked food items or cakes left on the countertop.
What does a Tapinoma sessile look like?
They have brown color bodies that appear darker in color, while some of them have black bodies. Moreover, they have small bodies and are almost 2.5 to 3.5mm long.
They have antennae on their heads, which have twelve segments, but there is no antennal club. In addition, their thorax is uneven in shape, and petioles have one flat node that is not visible.
The mandibles are smaller except for two apical teeth that are slightly bigger than the rest of the teeth. Unlike other species, they have no clusters of hair on their abdominal region.
Sometimes, it becomes challenging to distinguish Argentine ants from coconut ants due to their similar appearance, but their trails can make a difference as the former ones march in five rows.
In addition, the smell of Tapinoma Sessile is like a rotten coconut, but argentine ants give off a musty smell.
What does a Tapinoma sessile like to eat?
The odorous house ants like to consume sweet food items like all other species attracted to food items with a good quantity of sugary substances.
Moreover, they are fond of sugar syrups and honeydew and tend to aphids and other sap-sucking insects that can provide honeydew.
They are omnivores and feed on both plants and animals as they get nutrition from the meat of insects like mealybugs. They can also feed on decaying fruits that are a source of sweet juices.
Furthermore, all sweet substances can attract them inside the house and make them house-infesting ants that can pollute the food items.
So, their preference is to eat sweet or sugary foods, but they collect high-protein food for the larvae that need more proteins to grow well.
Where does Tapinoma sessile live?
The Tapinoma sessile prefer to live both outdoors and indoors as they keep moving from one location to another according to the climatic conditions.
Moreover, you can find them living close to water pipes as they like to live in humid or moist places having sufficient moisture for hydrating their bodies.
They can also be present behind paneled walls, under carpeted floors, and near heaters, as they need a safe and warm hiding spot to survive.
They will remain outside buildings when the weather is favorable for these tiny creatures, but you can find them invading indoors when there is flooding of the nest due to rain.
Furthermore, these are nocturnal working day and night and keeping themselves busy in the nest activities, even in the dark.
The colonies can inhabit the rubbish piles or leaf litter, areas hidden under rocks, and build tunnels under the soil providing a safe place to live.
These are native species of America and are present widely in the United States, ranging from Canada to Mexico. You can rarely find them in deserted areas as they like to live in moist places.
How long does a Tapinoma Sessile live?
The lifespan of Tapinoma sessile varies for members of the colony as males cannot survive for long and live only a few weeks when they get mature and participate in breeding.
In addition, the workers of odorous house ants can live for almost 2.5 to 3 years when living in ideal conditions and are not predated by larger insects or birds.
However, the queens usually live a longer life as they remain protected by the guards playing the role of protecting the nest from the attack of predators.
Furthermore, she gets a good diet, and workers take special care of her as the colony’s survival depends on her; that’s why it can live for almost 10 to 12 years.
The wild species of ants cannot survive for years and live only for a few weeks or months as they have more risk of attack from predators and the unavailability of food.
How many queens are present in an odorous house ant colony?
The Tapinoma sessile colonies have multiple queens controlling the population of ants in the colony as they have to replace old or dead members with new ones.
They can lay eggs and are responsible for their nourishment until they become adults. The colony size is approximately 1500 to 10,000 having a large number of workers 2 to 4 queens, and males.
Most commonly, they produce eggs in April and continue breeding till July, but their eggs are found in nests until October.
So, the number of queens in the colony is determined by its requirement as they nourish many winged females at the same time when it is facing a population decline and needs more workers.
Is Tapinoma Sessile dangerous?
The odorous house ants do not pose any serious threat like stinging on the skin, but they can pollute the stored food items by getting inside the food packaging.
They do not have a stinger, which is used for defense, but they can bite, which is not so dangerous as they have smaller mandibles.
Moreover, they are nuisance pests and unwanted house guests that are not responsible for structural damage but can cause infections by transferring harmful germs into stored foods.
You can prepare an ant bait using sugars that can attract these pests and kill the whole population ultimately when they feed stored food to their larvae and queen.