Animal Species:Ant-raiding Ant

Ants belonging to the Cerapachys group are specialist predators of other ant species.

Ant-raiding Ant

Andrew Donnelly © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Ant-raiding Ant

Size range

7.5 mm

Distribution

Ant-raiding ants are found throughout Australia

Habitat

Ant-raiding ants live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and coastal habitats.

Feeding and Diet

Ant-raiding ants eat other ant species.

Feeding Habit

carnivorous

What does this mean?

Other behaviours and adaptations

Ants belonging to the Ceraphachys group are specialist predators of other ant species. They conduct raids on other ant nests, overpowering and killing workers to get to the larvae and pupae of the colony. On finding their targets, the raiding workers sting the young ants and carry them back to their own nests. Although the sting of a Ceraphachys ant is quite capable of killing the larvae, the ant raiders subtly modify the injection of venom so that it paralyses and preserves the larvae rather than harms them. In this way the larvae stay fresh much longer than they would otherwise and can be stored in the raider ants' nest, to be consumed over a period of time. When the food store runs low, the raiders go and find another nest to attack.

Danger to humans and first aid

Ant-raiding ants can sting. An ice pack or commercially available spray may be used to relieve the pain of the sting. If there is evidence of an allergic reaction, medical attention should be sought.

Classification

Genus:
Cerapachys
Subfamily:
Cerapachyinae
Family:
Formicidae
Superfamily:
Vespoidea
Suborder:
Apocrita
Order:
Hymenoptera
Class:
Insecta
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


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Tags ants, insects, formicidae, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney, arthropods,