Red Bull Ant – Scariest Ant I have Ever Seen!

Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe
Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe

Myrmecia gulosa aka Giant Red Bull Ant, Hoppy Joe
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Aldinga Scrub, South Australia – August 16th, 2014 – moving over sand and leaf litter carrying a larva (species unknown) in its jaws

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

Respect this creature’s territory! – Its bite usually causes pain that lasts for two days, but it can be fatal, causing anaphylactic shock. It has good eyesight, and will eyeball intruders and come after them. It is regarded as a primitive Ant, and solitary individuals are usually seen wandering the ground or up tree trunks, but they live in colonies – They are one of the largest Ants in the World. The adults do not eat solid food, but feed their larvae such fare – It was interesting seeing this fierce-looking individual making its way over the sand amongst the leaf litter, not producing the usual hostile display, even though I was quite close – It was carrying the larva in its mandibles, but I am not sure if this was food for the not-so-little ones or was a young one being relocated. They don’t sense chemicals like most ants, apparently, but rely on their eyesight – Once more – Beware!

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