This Isn’t A Circus, Or Is It?

Have you ever found an insect in person that you had only seen in a picture? How did you react? Excited? Puzzled? Giddy? Panicky? That was me when I found an Acrobat Ant for the first time.

Sorry for the blurry picture

When I saw this marvelous creature stuck between layers of shrink wrap , I had to look twice. Were my eyes really seeing this? YES! My feet did a little shuffle. My heart started racing. I did a little happy dance, similar to how this ant wiggles its abdomen. I hoped no one saw my circus act. I grabbed my flashlight and magnifying glass to confirm.


I wondered how this specimen got between layers of plastic. Did the shrink wrap send a pheromone signal saying that IT caught prey?😜I know the ant didn’t send any signals. This one lonely acrobat ant lost his way. I would bet that when I saw him, he wished he could have found his arboreal nest instead.


When looking up information on this ant, (I know very little about ants) I got the impression that he seems to be a little bit of a con artist. They will carry food by themselves, but won’t hesitate to get a buddy to do it if there are more than himself. They will also recruit other ants to help in the protection of a food source.

They lay a scent trail down for communication, recruitment, or other reasons. The scent comes from the gaster, which never touches the surface where the scent is being placed. I took it to mean that these acrobat ants pass gas. What!?


So… maybe this acrobat ant that I have dreamed about seeing in real life is, in fact, a circus act, like a clown, making others part of the show and spraying seltzer in your face.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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