Giant Red Bull Ant
Giant Brown Bull Ant
Toothless Bull Ant
Jumper Ant
Giant Jumper Ant
Gilden-tail Bull Ant 
Baby Bull Ant
Tree Ants 
Black Valentine Ant
Bicoloured Pennant Ant
Muscleman Tree-ant
Yellow Shield Ant
Brown Shield Ant 
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
Dark Brown Sugar Ant 
Small Brown Sugar Ant
Furnace Ant 
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 


Muscleman Tree-ant - Podomyrma gratiosa 

Subfamily Myrmicinae 

This page contains pictures and information about Muscleman Tree-ants that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Body Length 10 to 12mm
The ants are reddish brown in colour, with a black abdomen and strong mandibles. They are easily recognized for their spiny shoulders and swollen upper arms on their legs.
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We noticed that they have at least two body sizes. Most of them are 10mm, but a few are 12mm in length. They build their nest in the tree hole of a living gum tree, about one meter above the ground. We do not see another nest of the same species near by.  
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The nest entry.
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We visit them from time to time and find that they are also active in winter although their numbers in winter are fewer in summer. We found the ants foraging on other tree trunks and ground near the tree. These ants move slower compared to other ant species.

Ants as Predator - prey on Stingless Bees

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We saw once those ants gather around a Native Stingless Bee nest, waiting for returning home bee lands near them and attack those bees.

Ants as Predator - prey on Clown Bug

We once saw some ants caught a bug just in front of their nest entry. The bug had landed in wrong place and gave the ants an easy meal. The bug was a Dark Clown Bug. The ants were 10-12 mm in length with a brown body and black abdomen.
The bug tried to escape but was held tightly by the ants. A few minutes later, about ten more ants came and each held the legs and antenna of the bug.
More and more ants came to help. Some ants started to climb on the bug's body and bite off its wings. Notice that there was an ant, which was slightly larger in size (in the top left corner of each pictures), standing behind those ants. It seemed it was the commander of this bug-catching operation. It never helped to hold the bug, but its touching the smaller ants in turn, could be giving instructions.
We came back an hour later. The legs, wings and head of the bug were removed. The ants were trying to move the bug body into their nest. We checked the body and cannot smell the stink from the bug, which it would usually released to expel its predators. We could only feel the strong smell of acid which was released by the ants to kill the bug.  
After the bug's wings were removed, we can see the top pattern of the bug. It is the eye catching pattern with bright orange and black colours. It is the warning pattern to tell the predators, such as birds, that 'I am a distasteful stink bug'. It obviously did not work on ants.

1. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p288.
2. Podomyrma -, 2005.
3. Australian Ants: Their Biology and Identification - S Shattuck, Natalie J Barnett, CSIRO, 1999, p157.

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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 12, 2010.