Monogynous (single-queen), claustral, polymorphic species with three worker castes (minor, media, major). Their workers are large, robust, strong, and resilient. They are matte black with a rust-brown pattern on their abdomen. In addition to strong mandibles, they defend themselves by acid spraying. These ants are aggressive, have powerful bite, although they not dangerous to us (they can not penetrate the human skin). They typically make nest in open, sunny areas, under rocks, in the soil, or into dead wood. They rarely hunt larger prey, workers occasionally process large dead insects in groups, and help each other. They become more active and develop faster in warm conditions. They establish colonies consisting of thousands of workers. The queen’s expected lifespan can reach up to 10-15 years.
Food: Honey and insects.
Colony size: The colony initially reproduces slowly, raise a10-20 workers in the first year, but from the second year, they can reach population of 100 workers. The olony is timid when they have few workers, but as they grow bigger and bigger, they become brave and aggressively guard their territory. A mature colony can reach even several thousand workers.
Hibernation: They require mediterranean hibernation, at 15°C, from late November to February. For more information about hibernating, check this video.