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How to Identify Elongate Mexican Twig Ants

Protect your home or business from elongate ants by learning techniques for identification and control.

Elongate Mexican Twig Ant Illustration
Pseudomyrmex gracilis
8 to 10 mm
Light orange thorax
Dark-colored heads


How do I get rid of elongate twig ants?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage elongate twig ants and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique ant treatment program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep elongate twig ants in their place and out of your home or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Elongate Twig Ants


  • Size: Elongate Mexican twig ants are 8 to 10-mm in size.

  • Body: Adults are best described as large slender ants that, when viewed from above, look like wasps without their wings.

  • Color: Their coloration differs greatly, but generally these ants range from a mixture of dark brown-black to an orange-brown. They commonly have dark-colored heads and abdomens with light-orange thorax’s.


Pseudomyrmex gracilis swarms and stings enemy nest invaders. This behavior is important since these ants are considered beneficial insects as a result of preying on pest insects and defending their nests. Unlike many other kinds of ants, elongate twig ants are solitary hunters.


Elongate twig ants seek hollowed-out cavities of plant material like dead twigs and small branches in order to house their small, single-queen nests. Some of their more typical habitats include:

  • Fields

  • Hardwood trees

  • Mangroves

  • Rainforests


Nests have only one, small entrance and may be inhabited by only a few ants. Elongate twig ants excavate nesting cavities themselves if the nesting material is flexible and soft. They may also nest in tunnels made by wood boring beetles.

These ants do not create pheromones to aid in nest relocation. Instead, when they need to move and create another nest, adult workers carry other mature workers, queens, and males to the new nest site.

Geographical Range

In some parts of their geographical range they are called elongate twig ants as well as elongate Mexican twig ants. Originally brought to the United States from Mexico, they established in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Hawaii.


The reproduction of elongate twig ants begins when the virgin queens leaves their nests to mate with males. After mating, the queens begin a new nest by laying eggs and tending the brood. Once the first group of workers develop, they take control of colony maintenance and provide food sources, so the queens are only responsible for laying eggs.

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