Identifying invasive ant species
Why is recognising invasive ants important?
Invasive ants are environmental and social amenity pests with the potential to cause significant negative impacts on Australia’s unique biodiversity and to human health.
Many invasive ant species form large ‘super colonies’ with multiple queens. Super colonies allow invasive ants to spread rapidly and are difficult to control due to their extensive range.
Invasive ants can transform ecosystems, deplete insect life from an area and even kill small animals. They displace native ants, affect plant life directly and indirectly by farming plant pests that produce honeydew e.g. mealybugs, scales and aphids.
Economically, invasive ants can:
- compromise eco-tourism and recreation
- reduce crop yields
- harm and lead to the death of animals
The economic costs associated with control programs are substantial. In 2017 Australia committed $411.4 million for a 10 year eradication program to rid Australia of red imported fire ants.
Basic guide to identifying exotic invasive ants
This interactive guide provides information on how to identify invasive ant species from some of the native ants found in Australia. Click on the image or the link https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/insect-pests/identifying-invasive-ant-species
If you think you have found an exotic ant report it immediately by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881. You could also submit a report of any suspicious sightings using the MyPestGuide Reporter App.
For further information on invasive ants, in particular red imported fire ant and yellow crazy ant can be obtained from NSW Department of Primary Industries.