Common Name: Large Purple Meat Ant
Scientific Name: Iridomyrmex purpureus


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera             
Family:Formicidae
Genus: Iridomyrmex             
Species: I. purpureus

 

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This species looks like a red and purple fury when they attack which they do very often they attack almost every ant in their path! The large purple meat ants are eight to twelve millimeters long and are black with a large red head. These ants are fast and work all year round, they are in large groups at all times. Meat ants are very aggressive and you will see no other species of ants inside their territory. Meat ants live in sandy, gravel, and urban areas. I’m writing this report is because I want to help my schools virtual zoo by adding more information to it.

The large purple meat ants are identified by these characteristics. They are eight to twelve millimeters long. This species of ants are red, purple, and black. The adaptations this species of ants have is that they are more aggressive than most ants and do not normally attack humans. These ants are large compared to most ants; they have a black and purple thorax with a red head and live mainly on gravel or sand in urban areas. These ants have no stingers so therefore they cannot inject formic acid.

The large purple meat ant’s habitat, population, & conservation is. Meat ants are found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia, and they have an immense impact on terrestrial ecosystems that they live in. Their population is enormous and is growing every day. Large purple meat ants are nowhere near the endangered species list.

The Iridomyrmex purpureus’ diet, feeding habits, & predators of this species of ant is. These ants eat many insects and in Australia they even eat the extremely dangerous cane toad. They get their food by attacking it in a group of many ants and then bring it back to the nest or just eat it right then and there. The main predators of my insect is birds all different types of birds eat them, and even though the cane toads can be killed by them some toads and frogs will get them with their tongue from a distance as to avoid the rest of them attacking their predator. These ants are also one of the top ants in their food web.

This animal is extremely important to the environment it eats dead organisms, and eats all types of other organisms. They even eat some organisms dangerous to humans such as the cane toad in Australia. What stood out to me was that they could eat the cane toad this stood out to me because the cane toad has killed humans and even crocodiles. My final thought are that this species of ant is very helpful to us and the environment. However I still would not want to be attacked by a group of these ants.

Publisher: David B.
Date published: February 1, 2012

Book Source:  Smithsonian Institution Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife by David Burnie and Don E. Wilson

Sources:
http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/39780/0; www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_ants/meatants.htm; www.bugguide.net/node/view/165; http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/Ants/invasive_ants/iripur_info.asphttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-03-31/hungry-ants-have-cane-toads-on-the-menu/1636408; http://www.woodworkforums.com/f137/how-do-i-get-rid-ants-nests-87292/index3.html;

Picture Source:
http://myrmecos.net/2009/02/04/must-we-call-them-meat-ants/