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Australian Wildlife

  Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes)





Yellow Crazy Ant | Anoplolepis gracilipes photo
Yellow Crazy Ants

Image by Forest & Kim Starr (USGS) - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



YELLOW CRAZY ANT FACTS

Identification
Yellow crazy ants are a declared pest species. They get their common name from their frantic erratic movement when disturbed. Crazy ants do not bite but spray formic acid to subdue prey, this can irritate skin and eyes of people coming in contact with the ants. They have a slender yellow to brown body with a dark brown abdomen. The abdomen is sometimes dark brown with lighter brown bands. The legs and antennae are very long in proportion to the body.

Size
body length about 5mm. The legs are also about 5mm long.

Habitat
Yellow crazy ants usually nest in areas with access to moisture such as along creek banks, under logs or piles of timber, around base of trees, amongst debris or leaf litter, within retaining walls.

Food
Yellow Crazy Ants eat a variety of food including seeds, insects and other small invertebrates, decaying matter including dead animals.

Breeding
Yellow crazy ants are highly social ants and can form high-density colonies with multiple queens and thousands of workers. On Christmas Island nests can contain up to 300 queens and up to 3,600 workers.

Range
Yellow crazy ants are an introduced species of tramp ant and are native to south-west Africa. They are found throughout the Pacific region and on Christmas Island and are easily spread by shipping transport in sea cargo. Their have been a number of outbreaks in Australia with several infestations having been treated in Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Formicidae
Genus:Anoplolepis
Species:gracilipes
Common Name:Yellow Crazy Ant