Striped ass ant

I saw some trumpet vine today, Trumpis radicans, with ants going after the nectar.
There was an ant with a striped abdomen. We called them “honey dew” ants when I was a kid.
What are they?

Many ants are aphid farmers. That is, they store aphid eggs underground in winter, and they carry the aphids up into plants in the spring to suck on plant juices. Now, aphid poo is a clear, syrupy stuff, and ants live on it. So the ants scurry up and down like little milk trucks, collecting aphid poo (called honeydew) and taking it back to the nest.

Try googling carpenter ants, and look at the pictures. Some carpenter ants have a striped abdominal section, and that may be what you’re seeing.

Thanks, I believe that’s it.

Unless you were joking, this should be Campsis radicans, family Bignoniaceae.

As for the ant, depending on size and coloration, my first guess was velvet ant. Note that they feed on nectar, and that they don’t bite, they sting (they’re actuallywingless wasps, and man, do the little bastards hurt.)

Man, I love looking stupid. :frowning:

:frowning: Totally not my intention. Sorry!

Far better to make the error in a post to the SD rather than to another gardening person! :slight_smile: