Carpenter ants belong to the ant genus Camponotus. They take their common name from their nest-building habits. Most carpenter ants prefer to nest in damp dead wood and will even hollow out dead trees. As we’ve seen before, however, these ants can also be found in ground nests. The above ants built a nest in the living flesh of a prickly pear cactus. I found this group while doing field work in Argentina. The two workers above did not approve of my nosy camera, and were standing guard over the entrance.
Although carpenter ants do not consume wood like termites do, their nest building habits can make the construction pests if they choose a building wall to tunnel in.