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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Insects, Spiders, Mice & More

Ant Identification

Resources to help you identify ants commonly found in Nebraska .

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One Node Ant - Odorous House Ant

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Ant Identification


Ant species can differ widely in their food requirements and behaviors. It is important to identify the type of ant before choosing a treatment. Once you've identified the key features, final identification is made from size, color, other body characteristics, habits, or other information.

To help identify ants, they are grouped into "one node" and "two node" ants. The "nodes" are an important identification characteristic. (see graphic below).


View & Print Free Ant Identification Keys

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Example of the Key Features on a Two-Node AntTo Identify Ants - Learn the Key Features.


In order to see key identifying features on ants - especially very tiny ants - you need a hand lens or microscope.

Like other insects, ant bodies are divided into head, thorax, and abdomen. Ants also have a constriction between the thorax and abdomen that gives them a "pinched-waist" appearance. The constricted part of the abdomen is called the pedicel, and the fat, main part of the abdomen is called the gaster.


The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office

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