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Meat Ant


Common name: Meat Ant

Scientific name: Iridomyrmex purpureus

Key Features


These are large ants and have a large pair of mandibles


Red and black in colour


Compound eyes that are placed relatively high upon the head and away from the mandibles


Single prominent node on the pedicel


Usually found close to, or connected to, a very distinctive or easily recognisable nest

Key features and Biology

As one of Australia’s native species meat ants are spread across most of Australia within well-drained or dry locations.

They are a relatively big variety of the dolichoderinae family and don’t nest within buildings. Rather they construct large, circular in semblance and low in profile mound that can measure several metres in diameter. These are characteristically covered with fine gravel and pebbles across the surface and accompanied by many smaller separate nest entrances scattered on the surface of the mound.

These mounds are capable of doing structural damage to the any path or small building that it impedes upon by undermining the foundations. Their workers are very territorial and can be quite aggressive; they are known to bite if provoked. Their nests are constructed in such a way that it makes it hard to treat with any liquid pesticides or insecticides. The nest would commonly be located in a clear or open area.

Food preferences

Proteins and occasionally sugars from other natural sources


Approx. 13-14 mm

If you’ve got an ant problem on your hand or you’re just looking for a pest control quote then ring up Bruce on 0417 251 911, alternatively you can contact us via our webpage messenger on our ‘contact us’ page.

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