Bull Ant

Tom Newman

Frankston, Australia

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Artist's Description

Bull Ant taken at Langwarrin Fauna and Flora Park, Victoria, Australia

These ants are well-known in Australia for their aggressive behavior and powerful stings. The venom of these ants has the potential to induce anaphylactic shock in allergic sting victims. As with most severe allergic reactions, if left untreated the reaction may be lethal. These large, alert ants have characteristic large eyes and long, slender mandibles. They have superior vision, able to track and even follow intruders from a distance of 1 metre
Bull ants eat small insects, honeydew (a sweet, sticky liquid found on leaves, deposited from various insects), seeds, fruit, fungi, gums, and nectar. The adult ants mainly eat nectar and honeydew, but the ant larvae are carnivores that eat small insects brought back to them by hunting worker ants. The workers can also regurgitate food back in the nest so other ants can consume it.

The bulldog-ant of Australia affords us the most extraordinary example of this kind; for if it is cut in two, a battle begins between the head and the tail. The head seizes the tail in its teeth, and the tail defends itself bravely by stinging the head: the battle may last for half an hour, until they die or are dragged away by other ants. This contest takes place every time the experiment is tried."

Myrmecia, often called bulldog ants, bull ants, or jack-jumpers (although jack jumper only applies to members of the M. pilosula species group), is a genus of ants. Bull ants can grow to over 40 mm in length, with the smallest species 15 mm long. Almost all of the approximately 90 species are endemic to Australia

Panasonic FZ20

Artwork Comments

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