Samuel's Sugar Ant
Major Worker, face
Vertical Gaster Black Ant
Vertical Gaster Black Ant (Camponotus cinereus ssp amperei)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Modern Ant (Ant: Formicidae Formicinae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Vertical Gaster Black Ant (Camponotus cinereus ssp amperei)
This Photo:     Dorsal
Other name: Mallee Black Sugar Ant

Thank you Kate Sandiford for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
These ants walk around with their backside, or gaster, stuck up in the air. Very unique behaviour.
There's an interesting discussion on iNaturalist about this (and ant "hibernating" stategies) indicating the ants might be lifting their gaster off hot ground.
We will monitor ours to see if we can learn more. At this stage we don't believe it's heat related as their gaster is in the air both in full sun & in the shade (from memory)
We have photographed them in Oct, Nov (Open Nest), Dec (Open Nest), Jan (Open Nest) & Feb.

Copyright © 2014-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 19-Feb-2014
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.