M. minimum



Local Names

Little Black ant





DNA Barcode


Little Black Ant

The little black ant gets its common name from its very small size and black coloration. Colonies are moderate to very large and contain many queens. Little black ants are common in wooded areas. In yards, they nest under rocks, in rotting logs, and under piles of bricks or lumber. Indoors, nests are located in woodwork, wall voids, decaying wood, masonry, and behind facades.
The little black ant (Monomorium minimum) is a species of ant native to North America. It is a shiny black color, the workers about 1 to 2 mm long and the queens 4 to 5 mm long. It is a monomorphic species, with only one caste of worker, and polygyne, meaning a nest may have more than one queen. A colony is usually moderately sized with only a few thousand workers.
Monomorium minimum are scavengers that will consume anything from bird droppings to dead insects. They are predators of codling moth larvae, and also of fall webworm. Workers may forage in households, but nest in soil mounds. They harvest the honeydew of aphids such as the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines). During mid-summer the queens and males perform the nuptial flight, mating in midair. The males die shortly after. Each queen constructs a new nest, sheds its wings, and lays eggs. The development from egg to adult takes about a month.