- Worldwide distribution. Common in Pacific island countries. Favours disturbed agriculture, forest areas, houses. Characteristic long antennae and quick jerky movements. Does not sting; sprays formic acid. Among world's 100 worse invasive species.
- Nests on ground or in trees; forms super-colonies (10-150ha), up to 20 million workers/ha. A scavenger. Eats seeds, other insects, molluscs, smaller vertebrates, and honeydew. Forages day and night.
- Direct damage: vegetable seeds; loss of biodiversity; indirectly by defending aphids, mealybugs, scales and whiteflies from natural enemies.
- Tramp ant. Spread by 'budding' - queens and workers leave the colony; spread via international trade.
- Biosecurity: requires risk assessments, regulations preventing introduction, protocols in case of breaches, and ability to make rapid response. Pacific Ant Prevention Plan available (IUCN/SSC Invasive Specialist Group).
- Cultural control: hot water at 47°C kills ants; over 49°C kills plants.
- Chemical control: use (i) stomach poisons (fipronil, Amdro®, borax), (ii) growth regulators (methoprene, pyriproxyfen), (iii) nerve poisons (bifenthrin, fipronil, imidacloprid). See (http://piat.org.nz/getting-rid-of-ants).
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Yellow crazy ant (364)
Yellow crazy ant, long-legged ant
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI Anoplolepis gracilipes (yellow crazy ant) (2018) Invasive Species Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/5575); and Pacific Invasive Ant Toolkit. (http://piat.org.nz); and Anoplolepis gracilipes. AntWiki. (http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Anoplolepis_gracilipes); and AntWeb. (https://www.antweb.org/description.do?genus=anoplolepis&species=gracilipes&rank=species&project=allantwebants); and from Anoplolepis gracilipes (2018). Global Invasive Species Database.(http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Anoplolepis+gracilipes). Photos 1-3 Ken Walker (2005) Yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes): PaDIL - (https://www.padil.gov.au/). Photo 4 Amy Carmichael (2005) Yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes). Queensland University of Technology. PaDIL - (http://www.padil.gov.au).
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.