Meranoplus sp

Meranoplus sp

Image of Meranoplus sp.

(Shield Ants)

SUBFAMILY

Myrmicinae

Species

Meranoplus sp.

Common name

Shield Ants

Main colour

Orange-brown

Size

About 3 mm long

Campus

Cairns, Townsville

Description

These ants are harvester ants in that they collect seeds but they also scavenge. Their name comes from the flat shield on their thorax, fringed with protective spines. They have the ability to curl up when threatened, folding their antennae away in the grooves on the sides of their heads, so that an attacker is confronted with spines or hard surfaces wherever they are approached. Figured is a specimen seen in Victoria, photo courtesy of Alex Wild, http://www.myrmecos.net/ants/. The grass remains around the nest photo are from Bothriochloa pertusa, Indian bluegrass.

Additional image

Image of nest with grass seed remains