Camponotus sp. carpenter ants
Many species of carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) can utilize a void generated inside dead branches or other (woody) plants. Among them, some are capable of utilizing such spaces within structural wooden members of houses, making them potential wood destroying organisms. However, most of these carpenter ants naturally use dead branches or trunks of dead tree as their nesting in their natural habitats. The picture shows a carpenter ant colony found within a dead branch of a fallen tree (June 20, 2020, UC Riverside campus). When I broke the branch, I noticed the gallery inside, and some larvae and pupae fell from the gallery. There were many ants (adults, larvae, and pupae) inside of that dead branch. The pictured carpenter ants were tentatively identified as Camponotus clarithorax.