Information: I happened upon a colony in a wooded area near my home. There were many queens preparing for flight so I captured a few with plans to start a few colonies of my own. They have been placed in a small container with a moist cotton ball and air holes poked in a cooler part of the house to slow them down until I decide if I will be able to keep them (determined by what I find out here).
Location: West Lafayette, IN, 1 hour north of Indianapolis, IN
Habitat: Wooded area, under a rock next to a creek. The colony was mostly under moist dirt. There was a group of queens getting ready for flight. Hundreds, if not thousands scurrying around. Most of the ants were black in color (similar to the queen pictured) and there were amber colored ants more involved with the many queens. (To avoid damage, I waited for almost all of the ants to go underground prior to putting the rock back down where I found it)
Coloration and Characteristics: Majority of the ants were black, none pictured since they were fast to go underground. The queen captured is straight black, no noticeable patterns or darker segments, including legs. They are shiny, not a mirror finish though. The only similar shininess I can think of is that of an original Nintendo A and B button. There are tiny hairs on the body of all the ants seen in the colony, but I am not sure if this is common among ants in general. Two segments in waist on the amber colored of the colony, unsure of the other ants that scattered underground.
Size: 7mm when not arched, excluding wings. (Shown arched in photos from death in refrigerator)
Other: Inside of the container there is a very evident bug spray type scent. I am unsure if this is a defense, mating, or normal scent for them.
The photos below are the best quality I could achieve with what I had available. To avoid confusion, the penny pictured is silver in color and the photo is taken on top of a 20# standard white copy paper.
[made the very large images into clickable links --antdude]