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Southern Michelin ant facts for kids

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Southern Michelin ant
Amblyopone australis casent0172214 profile 1.jpg
Worker
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Subfamily:
Amblyoponinae
Genus:
Amblyopone
Species:
A. australis
Binomial name
Amblyopone australis
Erichson, 1842

Amblyopone australis, the southern Michelin ant, is a species of ant in the genus Amblyopone, native to Australia. The species was described by Wilhelm Ferdinand Erichson in 1842. Workers can vary in colour from yellow to dark brown or black. They have a body length of 4.5–8mm; queens are larger.

It has been accidentally introduced to New Zealand, where it has become widely established across the North Island. It is the largest ant species established in New Zealand.

Biology

Amblyopone australis lives in relatively small colonies of tens to hundreds (up to 2000), typically under logs or stones. Adults forage above and below ground, preying upon other arthropods, paralysing them with their sting. Larvae are fed dismembered body parts of prey.

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