Exotic invasive ants
Exotic invasive ants are a group of species from around the globe that have arrived in Australia as hitchhikers on machinery, equipment or other goods.
They often rely on people for their transport and spread.
The world's most invasive ant species have a number of characteristics in common. They are:
- omnivorous - will eat both plant and animal food sources
- opportunistic nesters and may have a large number of reproductive queens, extending over large areas
- found living in human environments but may move into natural environments
- aggressive towards other ant species
- responsible for disrupting native species and potentially ecosystems.
Grouping of exotic invasive ants in Australia
High priority invasive ants that are not present:
- Asian Needle Ant () (Brachyponera chinensis)
- Black Imported Fire Ant () (Solenopsis richteri)
- Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus)
- European Fire Ant (Myrmica rubra)
- Invasive Garden Ant (Lasius neglectus)
- Japanese Pavement Ant (Tetramorium tsushimae)
- Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)
- Tawny Crazy Ant or Rasberry Ant () (Nylanderia fulva)
- White Footed Ant (), about 100 species (Technomyrmex species), excluding Te. difficilis and Te. vitensis that are already established in Australia
Under national eradication (present in parts of Australia):
- Browsing Ants () (Lepisiota frauenfeldi)
- Electric Ant or Little Fire Ant () (Wasmannia auropunctata)
- Red Imported Fire Ant () (Solenopsis invicta)
Established (either in discrete locations or widespread):
- Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)
- Coastal Brown Ant or African Big-Headed Ant (Pheidole megacephala)
- Tropical Fire Ant or Ginger Ant (Solenopsis geminata)
- Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes)
There are other exotic ants established in Australia that are not known to be invasive or causing problems.
Importing goods into South Australia
If you import the following goods into South Australia, you could be bringing in unwanted exotic ants:
- containerised plants
- potting media, soil
- organic mulch, turf, hay, straw
- agriculture machinery or used containers.
See the Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) to find out if any conditions of entry apply to your imports.
Growers and home gardeners
Moving items such as pot plants out of your backyard, is an easy way for invasive ants to move to new locations. Always check these items if you are in an area that has exotic invasive ant populations.
Contact Biosecurity SA or the Exotic Plant Hotline on 1800 084 881.