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Taxonomy terms

Green head ant (Rhytidoponera metallica)

green head ants

Green-headed ant or metallic pony ant

Found Australia wide (except Tasmania).

Green-head ants live in forests and urban areas, where it nests in lawns and under pavers, rocks and logs.

A multi-queen, single nest species. The workers are gamerates which mean they can mate with male reproductives. Although there is a mating flight in spring, new nests can also be established through budding, where a female reproductive and workers move away to set up a new nest. Although a single nest species, large nests may have more than one opening.

Colour: Black with green to purple iridescent sheen
Size: 5.0 – 7.0 mm
Nodes on petiole: 1 (obvious ‘square’ shape)

Their size and colour makes identification straight forward.

Green-head ants are primarily protein feeders targeting live and dead invertebrates. However, they are notable seed harvesters collecting seeds for food. Their habit for collecting and hoarding seeds plays a significant role in seed dispersal. They will also tend sap feeding insects

  • In significant infestations, nests can be located every 5-10 m in lawns
  • Green-head ants like to forage in sunshine and will often return to the nest under cloudy conditions.
  • However, they will forage in light showers (unlike other ant species) as long as the sun is also out.
  • Queens look very similar to the workers and will go out foraging.

Has a painful sting which can cause anaphylactic shock, which may require emergency medical treatment. The bite can itch for many days afterwards.

There are no management techniques that can be used to reduce green-head ant numbers other than carrying out a pest control treatment to effected areas.

  • Green-head ants are one of the first insects to appear once bushfires have move through an area.
  • Although the name sounds similar, they are a very different ant to the “green ant” or green tree ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) found in tropical areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Other types of ant.

Treatment Notes:

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