How to Identify Carpenter Ants. There are four castes of carpenter ants: queens, winged males, major workers and minor workers. The winged male is the easiest to identify.
Check to make sure that you are dealing with an ant. Like all ants, carpenter ants have a waist with only one node.
Rule out the possibility that it's not just a large ant by looking for an evenly rounded upper surface at the thorax.
Identify the color of the body. Winged carpenter ants have dark colored bodies.
Look at the insect's antennae. Carpenter ants have bent antennae.
Size up the wings. If the back wings are smaller than the front wings, you've got a carpenter ant.