COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 24 September 2021, 8am (AEST)

Iridomyrmex sp.

Image of Iridomyrmex sp.

(a small meat ant)

SUBFAMILY

Dolichoderinae

Species

Iridomyrmex sp.

Common name

A small meat ant

Main colour

Black

Size

About 4 mm long

Campus

Cairns, Townsville

Description

The genus Iridomyrmex is found almost everywhere in Australia, and most small black ants one finds with dense trails outdoors belongs to this genus. They are scavengers, predators, and tend aphids and scale insects. They are quite aggressive and determined, as shown by this specimen seeking to take home pieces of a photographer. These ants lack stings, smearing defensive secretions on enemies. Figured is a specimen seen in the McIlwraith Range, photo courtesy of Alex Wild, http://www.myrmecos.net/ants/