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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yellow Crazy Ants - sea cargo hitch hikers

The following information comes from the Queensland Government website here 
"Native to Africa, the yellow crazy ant has a long body and very long legs and antennae. Its name comes from its erratic walking style and frantic movements, especially when disturbed. Yellow crazy ants can disrupt natural environments, affect the horticulture industry, and cause skin and eye irritations. They are found throughout the Pacific region and on Christmas Island, and are most commonly transported inside sea cargo."
Native crabs are particularly under threat as well as native birds, other animals and plants. The large aggressive ants husband sap sucking insects and can spray harmful formic acid.
"The yellow crazy ant is listed as one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature."
"They have spread extensively in Queensland since they were first discovered in Cairns in 2001. Despite Biosecurity Queensland’s ongoing treatment and surveillance, eradicating yellow crazy ants is no longer considered possible in Queensland. Efforts will now focus on working with councils, industry and landholders to manage yellow crazy ants and their ongoing impacts."

Yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) - Photo courtesy of Invasive Species Council https://invasives.org.au/blog/yellow-crazy-ants-in-the-wet-tropics/



Seen in many parts of northern Australia possibly the worst affected is Christmas Island and our iconic Christmas Island red crabs. To protect our crabs and other natives be alert and advise the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries here.

www.ausmepa.org.au

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