How To Identify Different Types Of Australian Ants?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

In Australia, there are over 1,300 different species of native ants. How to identify different types of Australian ants? It is difficult to identify the type of ant you are dealing with if you have an infestation in your home or garden.

Ants can be a real nuisance. They can invade your home and property and search for food or water. If you know how to identify the type of ant you’re dealing with. Some specimens of ants show attacking behaviour.

You can take steps to eliminate them more effectively. If you have a suspicion that you have an ant infestation, it is best to get help from a professional pest controller. It will be able to identify the type of ant and help you get rid of them.

Continue reading this article to learn more about Australian ants and their lifestyle.

How to identify different types of Australian ants (Identification of types of ants in Australia)

Before doing any treatments, here is the list of types of ants in different regions of Australia.

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are 6 mm long and brown. They have wings, but the only time they will use them is to reproduce in the spring. Worker ants follow trails laid down by their fellow workers to find food.

Argentine ants are a species of ant found in many different parts of the world. They are attracted to sweet foods and eat both live and dead insects.

In addition to their sweet-eating habits, Argentine ants also consume other types of food. These ants eat meats, cereals, and damaged fruit. This diverse diet allows them to thrive in many different environments.

Australian Bull ants

Australian Bull ants

Bulldog ants are a type of ant found in Australia. These ants get their name from their aggressive nature and the shape of their head, which resembles that of a bulldog

Their life-cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Most ants are born female and can lay eggs after they reach adulthood.

When an egg hatches, the small grub will grow into one of three different castes: workers, soldiers, or queens. The queen ants are the only ones who can lay eggs.

So they must leave the nest at night to forage and find food. They will then bring the food back to the nest to feed the other ants.

In addition, Australian bull ants are easily identified by their red and black coloring. They are also one of the largest ant species in Australia.

The queen can live for up to six years, and the workers can live for two years. These ants are very aggressive if disturbed and will swarm around an intruder. Bulldog Ants inhabit bushier areas, and they seldom enter buildings.

Bull Ants are the largest Australian ants and have a very painful sting. You can identify them by their reddish-brown color and their large size. They are most commonly found in bushier areas, though they can sometimes enter buildings.

Unlike honey bees, bull ants do not have a stinger that remains in the victim after stinging. They can repeatedly sting without worrying about hurting themselves.

Black Ant

Black Ant

The Black Ant is 5-3mm long and lives in shiny black houses like them. The life cycle of the Black house ants is from larva to adult.

It takes for eggs to hatch into adult ants around six weeks. After hatching, the ants will grow and become adults after spending at least six weeks as larvae. Interestingly, female eggs are fertilized while male eggs are not.

There are many different types of ants in Australia, and each has its unique characteristics. For example, some ants are attracted to sweets while others feed on meat products or grease. 

Blue Ants

Blue Ants

The Blue Ant is a species of flower wasp found throughout Australia. They are easily mistaken for ants, but they are not ants. Adult Blue Ants feed mainly on nectar, eating other insects.

The Blue Ant is an Australian ant that is easily identified by its bright blue color. The females have a life cycle of around two weeks.

During this time, they will mate and then establish a new colony. The breeding behavior of the flower wasp is fascinating. The female wasps will paralyze spiders before laying their eggs inside them.

Carpenter ants (Red ants with black tails)

Carpenter ants (Red ants with black tails)

There are many different types of ants in Australia, but the carpenter ant is one of the most commonly encountered. Their red body and black tail easily identify these ants.

They feed on various things, including living and dead insects and anything people consume. Carpenter ants can also do considerable damage to wooden objects.

Carpenter ants are polymorphic. It means that they can come in various sizes. There are three size classes within carpenter ants- the large (major), medium (minor), and small (nanitics). Each size class has different job classifications.

The large serves as the soldiers and protects the colony. The medium builds and maintains the nest. And the small collect food.

You can identify carpenter ants by their red color with a black tail. They are nocturnal insects, so you will often have to wait for nighttime to find their trails. It could lead to the main nest. Carpenter ants tend to set up satellite nests to avoid detection.

Flying Ants

Flying Ants

Flying ants are the only type of ant that have wings. They use their wings for flying. It can be distinguished by its two sets of wings: front and back pairs. Their wings usually have a light tint but can sometimes have a brown tint.

When summer arrives, so do the flying ants. These tiny creatures are notorious for their annual reproductive swarm. It can take over your home and backyard if you’re not careful.

There are different flying ants, each with its characteristics and dangers. It’s important to identify them before they invade your space.

Fire ants (Solenopsis SPP)

Fire ants (Solenopsis SPP)

Fire ants are a type of ant found in Australia. They are distinguishable by their dark and light abdomens, with the dark abdomen being the dominant color. The queen is 1.59 cm long.

While worker fire ants range in size from 3.18 to 6.35mm long. When aggravated, fire ants deliver a painful sting that can cause welts and irritation.

Fire ants are very invasive species of ant that can be found worldwide. They have a strong ability to cause painful stings. Their venom is toxic and contains solenopsin. It can kill small animals. Fire ants swarm during mating season, and the queen can lay up to 125 eggs in late spring.

Fire ants are reddish-brown, and their size ranges from 2-6mm. They build their nests either above or below ground. The larvae hatch within 8-10 days. The pupal stage lasts 9-16 days before they turn into adult fire ants.

Ghost Ants

Ghost Ants

Ghost ants are small, pale ants commonly found in Australia. They get their name from their translucent legs and abdomens. Ghost ants measure 1.6mm long.

They are mistaken for other types of ants because they are so small. They nest in small spaces, usually under objects on the ground or in flowerpots. Ghost ants can also be found inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Green ants

Green ants

The Green head ant is a species of ant found in Australia. They are easily identifiable by their green head and thorax and their distinct smell

The life cycle consists of four phases: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The green ant is a small, dark-colored ant that nests in colonies under paths and among rockeries. 

They feed mainly on materials of vegetable origin but can also eat insects. Green ants are rarely seen inside houses, except when they invade to forage for food.

Kidnapper ants

Kidnapper ants are a type of ant known for kidnapping the pupae of other ant colonies. They are so named because they have very strong mandibles that can hold onto the pupae without damaging them.

It allows them to take the pupae back to their colony, where they will raise them as their own.

The mandibles of the Australian kidnapper ants are also good for battle. They have pointy tips and piercing exoskeletons, giving them an advantage when fighting other ant species.

Odorous Ant

Odorous Ant

The Odorous Ant is a small, brown, or black ant with 12 segments on its antennae and no club at the end. These ants are most common in Australia and can be found anywhere. Their life-cycle consists of an egg, larva, pupa, and adult stage.

The odorous ant is a common household pest in Australia. Their black body and orange head usually identify them. They have a 34-38 day life cycle to reach adulthood and can live for several years.

These ants are generalist feeders, meaning they eat most household foods. In particular, they like sugary food items such as sweets and fruits.

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants are commonly found in Australia. They are 5-2mm long and yellow-brown, with a brown abdomen. Meanwhile, males are 3mm long and black, with wings. 

Queens are 3.5-6mm long, dark red. They have black eyes and two small segments at the pedicel.

Pharaoh ants have a multi-queen colony. And they can swarm at any time of the year. Winged adults of Pharaoh ants seldom fly, so they’re not often seen.

Additionally, Pharaoh’s ant colonies swarm whenever a new colony is formed. It happens when a queen leaves an existing colony with a group of workers to start a new one. The queen will produce up to 3,500 eggs in her lifetime.

Pharaoh ants are a tropical species of ant found in heated buildings, typically hospitals. Their nests can range from a few dozen to 300,000 individuals. Pharaoh ants are known for their destructive habits. It has been known to cause power outages by shorting electrical equipment.

Sugar Ants (Orange Brown Ant)

Sugar Ants (Orange Brown Ant)

Sugar ants, also known as Camponotus app, are a common ant found in Australia. These ants have a love of sugar.

Sugar ants are often found near food sources and will not enter homes. Sugar ants can nest in various places, including shrubs, bushes, holes in wood, and the roots of plants. They are strong and have been known to bite.

Sugar ants are a common variety of ant found in Australia. Nocturnal by nature can most often be seen in the evening or night. While they cannot sting, these ants have a powerful mandible that can cause damage.

Sugar ants use different social techniques to survive and thrive. It includes raiding other colonies for food and using chemical signals to communicate with others.

Do pest ants impact agriculture and horticulture in West Australian homes and land?

Whether in Western Australia or Eastern Australia, identifying ants can be a tough job. The lifecycle of ants, the state of danger, impact of ants on your life can be a matter of concern.

The ant industry can be eradicated with the treatment of insecticides if you know the type of ants.

If you live in Queensland, Africa, South East Asia, South America, North America, Europe, or any other region, ants can be bad news. They can damage your crops, agriculture, horticulture, or any department of primary food industries.

You can make identification of ants by their subspecies, behaviours, body section and raft, and states of living. The content of ants hill is that they love moisture everywhere.

For instance, you can find ants in garden beds, footholds, plant pots, flower gardens, mounds, sand dunes, food containers, any machinery, city street, birds nest, table, entry rugs, etc. On the other hand, ants can damage your farming properties by eating seeds or biting farm animals.

What colour are ants nests in Western Australia?

There are many different types of ants in Australia, and they come in a variety of colors. The most common colors for ants are black or red.

But there are also several species of green ants. And some tropical ants have a metallic luster. Ants also vary in color depending on their species.

Though it is not known exactly how many different types of ants exist. The upper estimate is around 22,000 species.

Out of those, only 13,800 have been identified and cataloged. So if you’re ever wondering what color ants are, the answer is that they come in a wide variety of colors- depending on the species.

What types of ants specimen bite?

Some common types of ants that can bite include the carpenter ant, crazy ant, field ant, and leafcutter ant.

The carpenter ant is the largest type of ant in Australia. Its bites can be quite painful. The crazy ant is also known to bite the field ant. The leafcutter ants have strong jaws that can draw blood.

Are ants nocturnal?

There are three general size categories of ants- small, medium, and large. There are two types of ant lifestyles- diurnal (daytime) and nocturnal (nighttime).

Nocturnal species can change from the day- to night-active lifestyles to suit their environment better. While most ant species are diurnal, there is a growing number of nocturnal species.

What is the biggest ant in Australia?

The biggest ant in Australia is the bulldog ant. These ants are large and have long mandibles with a venom-loaded sting. They are known for their superior vision. It allows them to track and follow intruders.

Do black garden ants bite?

Black garden ants are one of the most common ants in Australia. They are not dangerous, and their bites cause mild reactions. It includes redness and swelling but should not be severe.


There are many different types of ants in Australia, and each has its unique features. Some ant species live in colonies that a single queen supports. For example, polygynous species like Pharaoh Ants and Argentine Ants are supported by multiple queens.

It is important to identify different types of ants to determine whether they are causing harm in your home or garden. In conclusion, out of the 1,300 known species of ants, only six are pests. 

There are many different types of ants in Australia, but the carpenter ant is one of the most commonly encountered. Their red body and black tail easily identify these ants. They feed on various things, including living and dead insects and anything people consume. Carpenter ants can also do considerable damage to wooden objects.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.