Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Genus: Anoplolepis

Nests are primarily in soil but may be arboreal as well. They are general predators on a range of arthropods and are known to tend Hemiptera to collect honeydew. One species, A. gracilipes, has been widely spread by human activity to many tropical areas. In some situations it has become a pest by invading dwellings, encouraging the increase of plant pests and diseases or disturbing or even killing domestic animals. In other situations, A. gracilipes has been considered a beneficial species as it has reduced the number of crop pests through its foraging activities. In these situations it has been actively encouraged and recommended as part of integrated pest management programs.


The antennae are 11 segmented (including the scape). The scapes are very long, surpassing the rear margin of the head by two-thirds their length or more. The body and legs are very elongate.

Anoplolepis is recognisable by its very long body and legs, pale yellow colour and 11 segmented antennae. It is most similar in overall size and shape to some species of Camponotus and Leptomyrmex (the latter in the subfamily Dolichoderinae) but it is easily separated from Camponotus by the number of antennal segments (Camponotus has 12 segments) and the presence of a metapleural gland opening above the hind leg, and from Leptomyrmex by the circular opening (acidopore) at the tip of the gaster (a slit-shaped opening is present in Leptomyrmex).

The only other genera of Formicinae in Australia with 11 segmented antennae are some Acropyga and all Plagiolepis and Stigmacros. Anoplolepis may be readily separated from these by the larger size, long legs and scapes, and yellow colour.

Distribution and Habitats

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Australian distribution Check distribution from AntMaps.

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Check specimen data from AntWeb

Regional Species Lists

Keys to Species