Ants In Australia

Ants are social insects which live in nests.

They have several Castes with specific duties.

They are often confused with termites (white ants).  In fact they have very little in common.

Ants feed on a variety of foods ranging from vegetation, sugars and proteins.

 

  • Argentine Ant

    (Linepithema humile) Argentine Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • The Argentine ant is similar to some Iridomyrmex spp. in body shape and colour, but it has more teeth on the mandibles, a more tear-drop shaped head (the widest point well above the eyes) the eyes are placed relatively lower on the front of the head
    • It has 5-8 large teeth on the mandibles and 5-13 smaller denticles
    • resembles the white-footed house ant but is light brown in colour
    • Lacks a strong smell when crushed

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Sugary liquids (hence common habit of tending to aphids on domestic plants)
  • Argentine Ant

    (Linepithema humile) Argentine Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • The Argentine ant is similar to some Iridomyrmex spp. in body shape and colour, but it has more teeth on the mandibles, a more tear-drop shaped head (the widest point well above the eyes) the eyes are placed relatively lower on the front of the head
    • It has 5-8 large teeth on the mandibles and 5-13 smaller denticles
    • resembles the white-footed house ant but is light brown in colour
    • Lacks a strong smell when crushed

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Sugary liquids (hence common habit of tending to aphids on domestic plants)
  • Black House Ant

    (Ochetellus glaver) Black House Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • A small, intensely black ant
    • This ant has a prominent node (petiole) which is a distinguishing feature from the white-footed house ant

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Sugary liquids (hence common habit of tending aphids and bugs on domestic plants)

    SIZE

    • Approximately 2.5mm
  • Black House Ant

    (Ochetellus glaver) Black House Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • A small, intensely black ant
    • This ant has a prominent node (petiole) which is a distinguishing feature from the white-footed house ant

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Sugary liquids (hence common habit of tending aphids and bugs on domestic plants)

    SIZE

    • Approximately 2.5mm
  • Brown House Ant

    (Doleromyrma darwiniana) Brown House Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • The colour of head is dark brow
    • The rest of the body and legs light brown
    • Workers have 12-segmented antennae
    • The mandibles have 4-5 teeth and 4-5 denticles
    • The front margin of the clypeus has downwardly curved hairs
    • The upper face of the propodeum is shorter than the rear face
    • The petiolar node is inclined forward
    • Can be mistaken for Argentine Ants but can be distinguished as the workers give off a string odour when crushed

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily sugars
    • Tends aphids and mealy bugs

    SIZE

    • Approximately 2 mm
  • Bulldog Ant (Bull Ant)

    (Myrmecia spp.) Bulldog Ant (Bull Ant)

    KEY FEATURES

    • One of the largest ants in Australia
    • Red/Black in colour
    • Very aggressive
    • Very long straight mandibles
    • Large eyes

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Proteins (other insects primarily)

    SIZE

    • 15-36mm
  • Carpenter Ant

    (Camponotus spp.) Carpenter Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Variable in colour - from black to dark brown to brownish orange
    • Has a smooth, evenly rounded thorax
    • Large in size
    • Distinct singel node on pedicel (petiole)
    • Mandibles hae 5-8 teeth
    • Polymorphic (multiple worker size)

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Sugary liquids (hence tendency to tend aphids and bugs on plants)

    SIZE

    • Approximately 3-12mm
  • Coastal Brown Ant

    (Pheidole Megacephala) Coastal Brown Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Golden brown to dark brown in colour
    • Two raised nodes on pedical (rear node more rounded)
    • Polymorphic (Major workers with large head)
    • Sting present
    • 12-segmented antennae with 3 segmented club
    • Spines visible on thorax

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Fats and oils primarily and proteins as secondary

    SIZE

    • 1.5-2.5mm
  • Coastal Brown Ant

    (Pheidole megacephala) Coastal Brown Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Golden brown to brown in colour
    • Two raised nodes on pedical (rear node more rounded)
    • Polymorphic (Major workers with large head)
    • Sting present
    • 12-segmented antennae with 3 segmented club
    • Spines visible on thorax

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Fats and oils primarily and proteins as secondary

    SIZE
    • 1.5-2.5mm

  • Golden Tailed Spiny Ant

    (Polyrachis ammon) Golden Tailed Spiny Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • These ants have a black body with a thick covering of fine golden hairs on the mesosoma and gaster (ore brilliant on the gaster)
    • A pair of strong horizontal spines are present on the propodeum and a pair of strong spines are present on the periole

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily Sugars but will seek proteins and oils

    SIZE

    • 6-8mm
  • Green-Headed Ant

    (Rhytidoponera metalica) Green-Headed Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • These ants have a dark, metallic colouration varying from a green-blue to a green-purple
    • They have a very distinctive square shaped single node on pedicel (with distinct front, top and rear faces)

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily proteins and oils. Oil based granular baits work very well against these species

    SIZE

    • 5-6mm
  • Odorous Garden Ant

    (Iridomyrmex spp.) Odorous Garden Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Black in colour
    • Produces a distinctive odour when crushed
    • Not commonly found indoors
    • Compound eyes placed relatively high on the head away from mandibles
    • Sometimes confused with the Argentine ants but differs in colour and odour when crushed

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Protein sources (primarily) but will feed on liquid sugars primarily for moisture
  • Pavement Ant

    (Tetramorium spp.) Pavement Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Brown to black in colour
    • Pale legs
    • Two nodes on pedicel
    • Sting present
    • 12-segmented antennae with 3-segmented club
    • Head has distinctive scuopturing

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Proteins and oils adn occassionaly sugars succh as honeydew

    SIZE

    • 2-3mm
  • Pharaoh Ant

    (Monomorium pharaonis) Pharaoh Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Golden brown to brown in colour
    • 2 nodes on pedicel
    • Antennae are clubbed with 3 enlarged segments
    • No odour when crushed
    • Monomorphic (one size)
    • Multiple Queens in colony
    • A bait only approach is h2ly recommended

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily protein feeders but will also feed on sugars and to a lesser extent oils and fats

    SIZE

    • 1.5-2mm
  • Pharoah Ant

    (Monomorium pharaonis) Pharaoh Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Golden brown to brown in colour
    • 2 nodes on pedicel
    • Antennae are clubbed with 3 enlarged segments
    • No odour when crushed
    • Monomorphic (one size)
    • Multiple Queens in colony
    • A bait only approach is h2ly recommended

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily protein feeders but will also feed on sugars and to a lesser extent oils and fats

    SIZE

    • 1.5-2mm
  • Red Imported Fire Ant

    (Solenopsis invicta) Red Imported Fire Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Brown head and reddish brown body
    • Legs, mesosoma and gaster with numerous erect hairs
    • 10-segmented antennae with 2-segmented club
    • Can be confused with smaller species of Monomorium genus but distinguishing difference is the 2-segmented club on antennae
    • 2 nodes on pidicel
    • Mandibles with 4 or 5 teeth
    • Polymorphic workers
    • Can be confused with ginger ant (Solenopsis geminate)

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Fats and Oils primarily

    SIZE

    • Variety of sizes, 2-6mm. This is a distinguishing feature of the fire ants
  • Singapore Ant

    (Monomorium destructor) Singapore Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Light brown in colour with darker gaster
    • Two rounded nodes
    • 12-segmented antennae including 3-segmented club
    • Polymorphic (workers of various sizes)
    • Broad flattened head

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily proteins but will feed on oils or fats and sugars to a lesser extent

    SIZE

    • 2-3mm
  • Singapore Ant

    (Monomorium destructor) Singapore Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Light brown in colour with darker gaster
    • Two rounded nodes
    • 12-segmented antennae including 3-segmented club Polymorphic (workers of various sizes)
    • Broad flattened head

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily proteins but will feed on oils or fats and sugars to a lesser extent

    SIZE

    • 2-3mm
  • White Footed House Ant

    (Technomyrmex albipes) White-Footed House Ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Small, dull cloudy-black ant
    • Pointed Gaster
    • Single node (petiole) which is hidden compared with the common black house ant
    • 12 Antennal segments
    • No antennal club
    • Pale colouration on all tarsi
    • One worker size

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily sugary foods (honeydew) and occasionally proteins

    SIZE

    • Approximately 3mm
  • White-Footed House Ant

    (Technomyrmex albipes) White-footed house ant

    KEY FEATURES

    • Small, dull cloudy-black ant
    • Pointed Gaster
    • Single node (petiole) which is hidden compared with the common black house ant
    • 12 Antennal segments
    • No antennal club
    • Pale colouration on all tarsi
    • One worker size

    FOOD PREFERENCES

    • Primarily sugary foods (honeydew) and occasionally proteins

    SIZE

    • Approximately 3mm