Argentine ant

Argentine ant

Linepithema humile

Common name:

Argentine ant

Scientific name:

Linepithema humile

Alternative common names:


Description:

The Argentine ant invades urban and agricultural land, and undisturbed fynbos in the Western Cape. A small brown ant, reaching 2 – 3mm in length. Argentine ants feed on honeydew (from aphids and mealybugs) and protein (dead insects). Colonies have several queens and spread by budding. This species has been known to reduce indigenous ant diversity. Reduces the number of seeds produced by proteas.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Argentina

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng and Northern Cape

How does it spread?

Why is it a problem?

This species has been known to reduce indigenous ant diversity. Reduces the number of seeds produced by proteas.

What does it look like?

Description: small, medium to dark brown ants, reaching 2 to 3mm in length. Less tolerant to high temperatures and dry conditions, compared to native ants.

Habitat: Shallow, 1- to 2-inch deep mounds in open, often disturbed habitats, either moist or dry. Occurs in agricultural areas, coastland, natural forests, planted forests, range/grasslands, riparian zones, disturbed areas, urban areas, wetlands.

Breeding: Colonies have several queens and spread by budding.

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