This is a small ant but it is very active and breeds quickly. The workers are reddish brown and 2-2.5 mm in size, and there is a distinct soldier caste around 5 mm that have large heads equipped with strong powerful jaws.
They will feed on almost anything, but a basic diet of sweet substances and dead insects seems to keep the colony happy. They have a very efficient recruitment action and when workers find a food source, they quickly return to the nest, and within seconds a mass of workers will swarm out following the scent trail back towards the food.
The queens are easily distinguished, being notably larger than the workers at 6-7 mm. They can establish colonies independently after flights, but can also return to their mother nest. New queens will also occasionally group together to establish colonies. Although most colonies have only a single queen it is not uncommon for larger colonies to have several queens.
It is a common species in the areas where it occurs, and although they have to compete with many other species for food, their efficient and very quick recruitment means they often get the food before other species find it. They will vigorously defend any food they find and instantly attack foraging workers of other species.
In the wild, they nest in old wood and in the open ground where they will build earthen ramparts around the nest entrance that help avoid flooding during the rainy season. In captivity, they readily take to almost any kind of nest - although they seem to respond much better in those with shallow chambers.
This is one of the easier exotic species to keep and can survive at normal room temperature. They breed quickly and will take a wide range of food.