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 


Subfamily Formicinae - Spiny Ants, Strobe Ants and Sugar Ants

This page contains pictures and information about Spiny Ants, Strobe Ants and Sugar Ants that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Spiny Ant 
Formicines are generally active and fast moving. They are usually medium in size, over 5mm in body length. Most species will defend their nests vigorously, attacking intruders with their large mandibles and formic acid sprays.  They possess poison glands, with which they spray or drip formic acid on their enemies to stun or kill them.
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                                                                            Strobe Ant                                                           Sugar Ant
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 but with short hairs.
Ants of Dolichoderinae are sometimes confused with species of Formicinae because both have a single segmented petiole, lack a sting and are often similar in overall body size and shape. Dolichoderines can be distinguished from formicines as the tip of the gaster has a slit-like opening while formicines have a small circular opening.

Golden-tailed Spiny Ant, Elegant spiny ant
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Polyrhachis ammon, subgenus Hagiomyrma, body length 10mm
Those Ants have spines on the mesosoma and the top of the petiole. The first upper plate of the gaster elongate and comprising more than one-half the total length of the gaster. The ants are omnivorous and often found collect 'honey dew' from leafhopper and scale-insects. More information and pictures please find on this page.
Black Spiny Ant
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Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) .sp., body length 10mm
We found this Black Spiny Ants nested under loose bark on a large gum tree trunk. The worker ants have four spines on the mesosoma and the two on top of the petiole. Please check this page for more information.
Large Golden Spiny Ant
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Polyrhachis sp., body length 16mm 
This ant has the spiny body shape likes the ant above. It is much larger in size with head and thorax in gold colour. Its abdomen is dark metallic blue. We saw this ant a few times in in Karawatha Forest. Please check this page for more information. 
Rattle Ant, Black Weaver Ant, Dome-backed Spiny Ant
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Polyrhachis australis, subgenus Cyrtomyrma, body length 7mm
The Rattle Ants are shiny, black in colour, with body length about 7mm. Their legs and antenna are all black in colour. They are usually found wandering alone on plants leaves, looking for food. They build nests on trees. If their nest is disturbed, a number of ants will come out looking for the intruder and make the rattle noise. To see the details of the Rattle Ants nest please click here.
Large Rattle Ant
Polyrhachis sp., subgenus Cyrtomyrma, body length 10mm
This Large Rattle Ants are shiny, black in colour, and looks exactly same as the Golden Ants above except they are larger. They are also found wandering alone on plants leaves, looking for food. They build nest on tree. When their nest is disturbed, hundreds of ants will come out from the nest and look for the enemy. We took the above pictures near Lamington National Park on March 2003. The nest was found on an orange tree about one meter above ground.
Very Large Black Ant
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? Polyrhachis sp., body length 20mm
We found this very large black ant wandering on leaves alone. When disturbed, it posted the attack posture to us.

Black-headed Strobe Ant
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Opisthopsis rufithorax, body length 6mm
Those ants run rapidly with short, jerky motions. They have large eyes on top edges of their head, with good vision. Their body is bright orange brown in colour with black head and abdomen tip. They usually found foraging on forest ground or on tree trunk. Please also visit this page for more information.
Painted Strobe Ant
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Opisthopsis pictus, body length 5mm
This ant look similar to the above species except smaller in size and with dark waist and legs. We found it alone on tree trunk in Carbrook Wetland on March 2010. Check this page for more information.

Black-headed Sugar Ant
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Camponotus nigriceps,  body length 10mm
Camponotus species commonly called sugar ants. Sugar ants are stingless, although unable to sting, do possess strong mandibles which can bite. In self-defense these ants are also able to spray acid from their abdomens to deter predators. More information and pictures please click on here.
Banded Sugar Ant, Nocturnal Sugar Ant
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Camponotus consobrinusbody length 10mm
Band As their name imply, they likes sugar, but they are also attracted to any sweet food. They are omnivores and can be seen foraging on  ground in bush as well as suburban area. More Pictures and information please visit this page.
Orange-tailed Sugar Ant
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Camponotus sp.body length 10mm
This sugar ant is orange brown in colour with steel black head. The abdomen is also orange brown. The ant nest was on ground in soil with a simple open entrance. Please check this page for more information. 
Golden-tailed Sugar Ant
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Camponotus nigroaneus or C. aeneopilosus, body length 10mm
Usually a few of these ants were found running slowing on large tree trunk of smooth bark gumtree. We found one nest Golden-tailed Sugar Ants by turned over a medium size rock. More information can be found in this page.
Small Golden-tailed Sugar Ant
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Camponotus sp., body length 6mm
Small Golden-tailed Sugar Ants are black in colour with a golden abdomen. They have the relatively smaller head and slim body. Please check this page for more information.
Dark Brown Sugar Ant
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Camponotus sp., body length 10mm 
We found this Dark Brown Sugar Ant once on gum tree trunk. We believed this is in genus Camponotus but we do not know anything about this ant. Please check this page if we have any updated information. 
Small Brown Sugar Ant
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Camponotus sp., body length 5-10mm
This Small Brown Sugar Ant is orange brown colour. The workers are found at least has two body size. Please check this page for more information. 

Furnace Ant
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Melophorus sp., workers body length 6-10mm
We notice this group of ants when a steam of winged class ants coming out from the nest entry. Please check this page for more pictures and information.

1. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p290.
2. Polyrhachis (spiny ants) -, 2005.
3. Opisthopsis (strobe ants) -, 2005. 
4. Australian Camponotus -, 2005.
5. Australian Ants: Their Biology and Identification - S Shattuck, Natalie J Barnett, CSIRO, 1999, p86.

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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.