Ants
 
Myrmeciinae
Giant Red Bull Ant
Giant Brown Bull Ant
Toothless Bull Ant
Jumper Ant
Giant Jumper Ant
Gilden-tail Bull Ant 
Baby Bull Ant
 
Pseudomyrmecinae
Tree Ants 
 
Myrmicinae
Black Valentine Ant
Bicoloured Pennant Ant
Muscleman Tree-ant
Yellow Shield Ant
Brown Shield Ant 
 
Ponerinae
Green-headed Ant
Green Metallic Ant
Michelin Ant
 
Painted Strobe Ant
Black-headed Sugar Ant
Banded Sugar Ant
Orange-tailed Sugar Ant
Golden-tailed Sugar Ant
SmallGoldenTailedSugarAnt 
Dark Brown Sugar Ant 
Small Brown Sugar Ant
Furnace Ant 
 
Dolichoderinae
Large Purple Meat Ant
Red-headed Tyrant Ant
Black Tyrant Ant
Brown Tyrant Ant 
Red Spider Ant
Black Spider Ant
Large Dolly Ant
Small Dolly Ant
Spiny Dolly Ant 
 
 

                                               

Ants - FAMILY FORMICIDAE

This page contains pictures and information about Ants that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

In ants' world, number is more important.
 
 
All ants are in family Formicidae. They all have a waist. Their waist is composed of one or two knobs which are the first one or two segments of their abdomen. Their antennae have a distinct elbow. Ants live in colonies made up of several castes. These included the winged males, winged females, soldiers and workers.

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Ants are social insects; they form small to large colonies. Ant colonies usually contain: an egg-laying queen and many workers together with their brood i.e., eggs, larvae and pupae. Worker ants carry out different jobs including nest construction, foraging, looking after the brood and queen, and nest defense.

When the ant colony becomes mature, the next generation of winged females and males are produced. They are present in the nest for only a short period. Soon after emerging, they leave the nest to mate and establish new nests elsewhere. 

Females usually look similar to the workers (workers are wingless female anyway) but with larger size body. Males are the same size as worker or smaller, with smaller heads, larger ocelli and smaller mandibles. Males may look more like wasps than ants.

Most ants will attack their enemy. Some species have powerful stings. Others eject vapors of formic acid.

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From time to time, those ants may aggregate at some high points near their nest. Watch carefully you may find some ants with wings wandering around. The winged ants were those female and male, ready to have the so called "mating flight". They will fly to some meeting points, meet with the winged ants from other nests and mate. Female ants will them look for a suitable location to establish a new nest and build a new colony. 

Ants Subfamily

There are sixteen ant subfamilies world-wide. We have ten in Australia. Of the ten subfamilies, six are common and can be found in most areas in Brisbane. Followings listed the species that we found.  

Myrmeciinae - Bulldog Ants, Jumper Ants 

The mesosoma is attached to the gaster by two distinct segments, the petiole and postpetiole. The mandibles are very long and straight, with teeth along their inner margin. There is the sting at the tip of their gaster.
 
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Pseudomyrmecinae - Tree Ants

The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae is a small group. This group contains only three genera. They are generally slender, wasp-like forms that forage solitarily and sting readily. The mesosoma is attached to the gaster by two distinct segments, the petiole and postpetiole . 
 
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Myrmicinae - Myrmicine ants

For the Myrmicines ants the mesosoma is attached to the gaster by two distinct segments. There is the sting at the tip of their gaster. They are from small to medium size. 
 
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Ponerinae - Pony Ants

The mesosoma is attached to the gaster with a single segment, the petiole.  The gaster usually has a distinct impression between the first and second segments.  There is the sting at the tip of their gaster.
 
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Formicinae - Spiny Ants, Sugar Ants 

For the Formicinae ants the petiole is a single segment. The gaster is smooth and does not have constrictions between the segments. The tip of the gaster is absent of a sting.  
 
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Dolichoderinae - Meat Ants, Tyrant Ants

The petiole is a single segment. The gaster is smooth and does not have constrictions between the segments. The tip of the gaster is absent of sting, and is slit-like, without a circular opening.
 
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There are some ants that we cannot not identify and put in this page.  
 

Reference and Link:
1. Ants Down Under - Web site by Steve Shattuck and Natalie Barnett, CSIRO 2010.
2. Common names of northern Australian ants - CSIRO Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, 24 May, 2005.
3. Common names for Australian ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) -  Alan N Andersen, Australian Journal of Entomology (2002) 41 , 285293.
4. Australian Ant Image Database - Australian Ant Image Database, R.W Taylor.
5. myrmecos.net - myrmecos.net, Alex Wild, 2005.
6. Australian Ants: Their Biology and Identification - S Shattuck, Natalie J Barnett, CSIRO, 1999.
7. Common names of northern Australian ants - CSIRO Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre.
8. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
9. What wasp is that? - An interactive identification guide to the Australasian families of Hymenoptera, 2007. 

 
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[ Home ] Myrmeciinae ] Pseudomyrmecinae ] Myrmicinae ] Ponerinae ] Formicinae ] Dolichoderinae ] Not Known Ants ] 

                                                

Fire Ants - We are suffering the Fire Ants problem. 
The Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, is a serious new pest which has been detected in Brisbane, Queensland. 
They can be the greatest ecological threat to Australia. More information please visit our Government Fire Ants web site.

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Last updated: April 13, 2010.