Meat ant cover 1 (Credit to Miopixia, Flickr)meat ant cover photo bill and mark bellftj


  • The Iridomyrmex purpureus can make develop nests with over 64,000 workers! (Holldobler and Carlin  1985).


  • Nests are connected through many other colonies to form super colonies.  These colonies can stretch over 2,000 feet!  (Australian Museum 2010).


  • Meat Ants develop mutualistic relationships with certain types of butterfly caterpillars.  In which the ant protects the caterpillar in exchange for food secreted by the caterpillar (Harris and Berry 2013).


  • Meat Ants are immune to toxins produced by Cane Toads which are an invasive species to their natural environment.  This is a possible natural mechanism to the removal of the invasive species  (Ward-Fear et al. 2009).


  • Mature workers participate in c0mabts along colony borders to solve territorial disputes and create new nest boundaries  (Harris and Berry 2013).


  • Farmers in Australia will periodically place carcasses of animals on a nest of the I. purpureus to reduce the carcass to bone within weeks (Australian Museum 2010).


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