The main difference between carpenter ants and termites is that carpenter ants have a narrow waist whereas termites have a broad waist. Furthermore, carpenter ants have segmented, elbowed antennae while termites have straight, bead-like antennae. Besides, carpenter ants have large forewings and small hindwings while termites have two sets of wings with similar size.
Carpenter ants and termites are two types of destructive insects. Generally, they are decomposers and are famous for consuming wood. Moreover, both form swarms.
Key Areas Covered
1. Carpenter Ants
– Taxonomy, Characteristics, Behavior
– Taxonomy, Characteristics, Behavior
3. What are the Similarities Between Carpenter Ants and Termites
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Carpenter Ants and Termites
– Comparison of Key Differences
Camponotus, Carpenter Ants, Decomposers, Swarms, Termites, Waist
Carpenter Ants – Taxonomy, Characteristics, Behavior
Carpenter ants are a type of large ants that belong to the genus Camponotus under the order Hymenoptera. The genus contains more than 1000 species. Further, their size can vary from 0.76 to 2.54 cm, and their body color can be black, brown, red, or a combination of these colors. They also have a heart-shaped head and a broad waist. Moreover, carpenter ants in their mating period produce swarms. Insects in the swarms have two pairs of wings.
Furthermore, carpenter ants can be both predators and scavengers. They consume parts of the dead insects or substances derived from insects such as honeydew produced by aphids. They consume extrafloral nectar from plants. However, the main food source of carpenter ants is proteins and carbohydrates.
Termites – Taxonomy, Characteristics, Behavior
Termites are eusocial, destructive insects classified under the infraorder Isoptera. Generally, this infraorder contains around 3,100 species. Basically, termites have a soft-body with three body segments regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have deciduous wings during their swarming period. In contrast, they have two pairs of wings with similar size. The body color of termites varies from pale to yellow, brown or black.
Moreover, termites live in large communities, which have a division of labor among castes. Fertile males of the community are ‘kings’, and one or more fertile females in the community are ‘queens’. Also, sterile male and female individuals are ‘workers’ and ‘soldiers’. Termites consume dead plant material and cellulose. Therefore, they are a key form of detrivores in the subtropical and tropical regions with major ecological importance. Due to their enormous colonization, termites are considered as one of the most destructive insects in the world.
Similarities Between Carpenter Ants and Termites
- Carpenter ants and termites are two types of destructive insects.
- They cause damages to wood.
- They have similar body sizes.
- Both insects have three segments in the body. They are the head, thorax, and abdomen.
- They have a pair of antennae on the head.
- Moreover, both of them form swarms during their mating period.
- Their swarming forms have two wings.
- Besides, they undergo incomplete metamorphosis.
Difference Between Carpenter Ants and Termites
Carpenter ants refer to the large ants that burrow into wood to make a nest while termites refer to the pale, soft-bodied insects that live in large colonies with several different castes.
While carpenter ants belong to the genus Camponotus under the order Hymenoptera, termites belong to the infraorder Isoptera under the order Blattodea.
Furthermore, carpenter ants have a narrow waist while termites have a broad waist. Thus, this is an easily distinguishable difference between carpenter ants and termites.
Body colour is another easily distinguishable difference between carpenter ants and termites. The body color of carpenter ant workers is reddish or dark color while termite workers are transparent or have a light color.
While carpenter ants have segmented, elbowed antennae, termites have straight, bead-like antennae.
In the swarming period, carpenter ants have large forewings and small hindwings while termites have two sets of wings with similar size.
Furthermore, carpenter ants consume sugars and proteins, while termites consume cellulose.
Cause for the Damage in Wood
Carpenter ants burrow wood to make their nests while termites consume wood as their food.
Type of Wood
Another difference between carpenter ants and termites is that carpenter ants seek moist and damaged wood while termites chew healthy wood.
Carpenter ants can be seen in the home while the signs of termites are visible in the form of discarded wings, mud shelter tubes, or wood damage.
Moreover, carpenter ants are attracted to wood and moisture while termites are attached to wood, moisture, and sweets.
Whereas a carpenter ant colony contains up to 2000-3000 individuals, a termite colony contains up to several million individuals.
Carpenter ants are a type of large ants that make their nests inside the wood. They are dark in color; their waist is narrow, and they have a pair of large forewings and a pair of small hindwings. Although they make their nests inside the wood, carpenter ants do not consume wood. Instead, they consume sugars and proteins. On the other hand, termites are another type of destructive insects that consume cellulose. Therefore, they chew healthy wood. Termites have a pale color body and two pairs of similar size wings. Termites also have a broad waist. Therefore, the main difference between carpenter ants and termites is their appearance and behavior.