The pungent, “rotten-coconutlike” odor given off when this ant is crushed gives it its name. It is a native species and is found throughout the United States. It is a major structural-invading species in the mid-Atlantic states, and in the mid-western and mid-southern regions.
Workers monomorphic, about 1/16-1/8" (2.4-3.3 mm) long. Body brown to black. Antenna 12-segmented, without a club. Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly rounded. Pedicel 1-segmented, with small node/segment hidden/concealed from view from above by base of gaster. Gaster with anal opening slitlike, lacking circlet of hairs. Stinger absent. Workers emit a disagreeable, rotten, coconut-like odor.
Colonies may be composed of several hundred to 100,000 ants, but usually number about 2,000 to 10,000 ants. There are usually many queens in a colony. Field-collected summer colonies in Tennessee were composed of about 150 workers to each queen and 200 workers for every square centimeter (0.155 square inches) of brood. Developmental time (egg to adult) is 34-83 days, varying with temperature during summer months, and up to 6-7 months during the winter. Colonies typically produce 4-5 generations a year. Although they mate both inside and outside the nest, the first swarmers appear from May to mid-July. Colonies can be founded by inseminated females or by budding. The workers and queens live for several years. Individuals from different colonies are not hostile to one another and workers normally move along trails.