FormicidaeFormicidae – image index Ants Camponotus aurocinctus Camponotus consobrinus (Banded Sugar Ant) Camponotus inflatus (Honey Ant) Dolichoderus doriae (Dolly Ant) Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Red-headed Spider Ant) Myrmecia brevinoda (Nocturnal Bull Ant) Myrmecia nigrocincta (Jumping Jack Ant) Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper Ant) Myrmecia pyriformis (Inch Ant) Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant) Notoncus spinisquamis Oecophylla smaragdina (Green Tree Ant) Rhytidoponera aspera Rhytidoponera metallica (Green-head Ant)

Who hasn’t seen an ant of some description, they are everywhere. The CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre in Darwin, estimated in 2007, that the entire Australian fauna of ants comprises about 6,500 species, of which only about one-fifth of have been described.1

Meat Ant (Iridomyrmex purpureus), Ballandean QLD © Marc Newman
Meat Ant (Iridomyrmex purpureus), Ballandean QLD © Marc Newman

Ants are a group of insect belonging to the family Formicidae, that are found in all of Australia’s terrestrial habitats, from coastal to bush, rivers, lakes and wetlands, rainforests, woodlands, shrublands, heathlands, savannas, grasslands, and arid desert regions.

Green-head Ant (Rhytidoponera metallica), Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Green-head Ant (Rhytidoponera metallica) with a species of Amblyopone, Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Dolichoderus scabridus, Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Dolichoderus scabridus, Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Banded Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus), Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Banded Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus), Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Myrmecia pulchra, Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Myrmecia pulchra, Belair SA © Marianne Broug
Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Red-headed Spider Ant), Wallaga Lake NSW © Deb Taylor
Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Red-headed Spider Ant), Wallaga Lake NSW © Deb Taylor
Rhytidoponera aspera, Wandella NSW © Deb Taylor
Rhytidoponera aspera, Wandella NSW © Deb Taylor
Notoncus spinisquamis, Tantawangalo Mount Rd, Tantawangalo NSW © Tony Eales
Notoncus spinisquamis, Tantawangalo Mount Rd, Tantawangalo NSW © Tony Eales
Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant), Munglinup WA © Jean and Fred Hort
Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant), Munglinup WA © Jean and Fred Hort
Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) on lemon blossoms, Alice Springs NT
Black ant on Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp (Radumeris radula) on lemon blossoms, Alice Springs NT

This page is a work in progress…


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Superfamily: Vespoidea
  • Family: Formicidae
  • Subfamily:
    • Amblyoponinae Forel, 1893
    • Dolichoderinae Forel, 1878
    • Dorylinae Leach, 1815
    • Ectatomminae Emery, 1895
    • Formicinae Latreille, 1809
    • Heteroponerinae Bolton, 2003
    • Leptanillinae Emery, 1910
    • Myrmeciinae Emery, 1877
    • Myrmicinae Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1835
    • Ponerinae Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1835
    • Proceratiinae Emery, 1895
    • Pseudomyrmecinae Smith, 1952

Footnote & References

  1. Andersen, A. N. 2007. Ant diversity in arid Australia: a systematic overview, pp. 19-51. In Snelling, R. R., B. L. Fisher, and P. S. Ward (eds). Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): homage to E. O. Wilson – 50 years of contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, 80, http://antbase.org/ants/publications/21273/21273.pdf
  2. A touch of light: the tireless energy of ants, by Mike Gillam, 15 September 2020, Alice Springs News, https://alicespringsnews.com.au/2020/09/15/a-touch-of-light-the-tireless-energy-of-ants/

FormicidaeFormicidae – image index Ants Camponotus aurocinctus Camponotus consobrinus (Banded Sugar Ant) Camponotus inflatus (Honey Ant) Dolichoderus doriae (Dolly Ant) Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Red-headed Spider Ant) Myrmecia brevinoda (Nocturnal Bull Ant) Myrmecia nigrocincta (Jumping Jack Ant) Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper Ant) Myrmecia pyriformis (Inch Ant) Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant) Notoncus spinisquamis Oecophylla smaragdina (Green Tree Ant) Rhytidoponera aspera Rhytidoponera metallica (Green-head Ant)

InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Formicidae Hemiptera Heteroptera (True Bugs) Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Syrphidae Wasps Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub