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Australian Wildlife

  Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)





Argentine Ant | Linepithema humile photo
Argentine ant

Image by Penarc - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



ARGENTINE ANT FACTS

Identification
Argentine Ant Workers are small dark brown or medium brown ants with smooth shiny bodies. The mandibles have five to eight large teeth and five to thirteen smaller serrations (denticles). The head is tear-drop shaped with widest point above the eyes. Argentine Ants are highly invasive and one of the world's worst pest ant species. They will displace most native ants from their habitat. Argentine Ants indirectly harm agricultural crops by protecting insect pests such as aphids and scale insects from predators. They protect these insects to harvest the sugary honeydew they produce.

Other Names
Iridomyrmex humilis

Size
workers are about 2mm to 3mm. Queens are about 6mm to 8mm

Habitat
Linepithema humile is found in many habitats including forests, grasslands, river catchments, shrublands, farmland, coastland, urban areas and wetlands.

Food
They feed on sweet foods such as the honeydew produced by aphids, scale insects and mealybugs.

Breeding
Colonies spread by groups of ants leaving the colony to start their own colony. A single queen and ten workers is enough to start a new colony.

Range
Native to subtropical regions of northern Argentina, the species is now cosmopolitan.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Formicidae
Genus:Linepithema
Species:humile
Common Name:Argentine Ant