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  • Electric ant

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    The electric ant (Wasmannia auropunctata), also known as the little fire ant, is a small (approx 1.5 mm long), light to golden brown (ginger) social ant native to Central and South America, now spread to parts of Africa (including Gabon and Cameroon), North America, Puerto Rico, Israel, Cuba, and six Pacific Island groups (including the Galápagos Islands, Hawaii, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands) plus north-eastern Australia (Cairns). The name, electric ant (or little fire ant) derives from the ant's painful sting relative to its size. This ant's impact in those environments and countries outside of its place of origin has been described as follows: Wasmannia auropunctata .. is blamed for reducing species diversity, reducing overall abundance of flying and tree-dwelling insects, and eliminating arachnid populations. It is also known for its painful stings. On the Galápagos, it eats the hatchlings of tortoises and attacks the eyes and cloacae of the adult tortoises. It is considered to be perhaps the greatest ant species threat in the Pacific region.W. auropunctata biting a human

  • Meat ant

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    The meat ant (Iridomyrmex purpureus), also known as the gravel ant or southern meat ant, is a species of ant endemic to Australia. A member of the genus Iridomyrmex in the subfamily Dolichoderinae, it was described by British entomologist Frederick Smith in 1858. The meat ant is associated with many common names due to its appearance, nest-building behaviour and abundance, of which its specific name, purpureus, refers to its coloured appearance. It is among the best-known species of ant found throughout Australia; it occurs in almost all states and territories except for Tasmania. Its enormous distribution, aggression and ecological importance have made this ant a dominant species. The meat ant is monomorphic (occurs in a particular form), although there is evidence that certain populations can be polymorphic. It is characterised by its dark-bluish body and red head. It is a medium to large species, measuring . The workers and males are approximately the same sizes at and , respectively. The queens are the largest and appear mostly black, measuring . The iridescence in workers ranges from green or blue to plain green and purple, varying in different body parts and castes. Meat ants inhabit open and warm areas in large, oval-shaped mounds that are accompanied by many entrance holes. The nest area is always cleared of vegetation and covered with materials including gravel, pebbles and dead vegetation. They are also polydomous, where a colony may be established in a series of satellite nests connected by well-defined paths and trails. Satellite nests are constructed away from the main nest and nearby areas with valuable food sources so workers can exploit them. Queens mate with a single male and colonies may have more than one queen until the workers arrive, where they both exhibit antagonism. It takes around one or two months for an individual egg to develop into an adult. Colonies range in size, varying between 11,000 individuals to over 300,000. The meat ant is a diurnal species (active throughout most of the day), especially when it is warm. It forages on trees and collects sweet substances such as honeydew and nectar, and also captures insects or collects the remains of animals. A number of predators eat these ants, including the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), numerous species of birds, blind snakes and spiders. This species is also a competitor of the banded sugar ant (Camponotus consobrinus). Meat ants establish territorial borders with neighbouring colonies and solve disputes through ritualised fighting. Meat ants play an important role in both the environment and for humans. A single nest is capable of dispersing over 300,000 plant seeds; moreover, meat ants have formed symbiotic relationships with many insects. This ant may be used as a form of pest control to kill the cane toad, an invasive species. They can also help farmers to remove animal carcasses by consuming and reducing them to bones in a matter of weeks. Despite this, meat ants are sometimes pests around urban areas and eradicating them is difficult.

  • Fire ant

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    Fire ant is the common name for several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis. They are, however, only a minority in the genus, which includes over 200 species of Solenopsis worldwide. Solenopsis are stinging ants and most of their common names reflect this, for example, ginger ants and tropical fire ants. Many species also are called red ants because of their light brown color, though species of ants in many other genera are similarly named for similar reasons. Examples include Myrmica rubra and Pogonomyrmex barbatus. None of these names apply in all countries nor to all species of Solenopsis, nor only to Solenopsis species; for example the colloquial names for several species of weaver ants in the genus Oecophylla in Southeast Asia include "fire ants" because of their red color and painful sting; the two genera, however, are not closely related. Also, Wasmannia auropunctata is commonly called the "little fire ant".

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