Red Bull Ant (Myrmecia gulosa) - Wiki
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[Photo] Red Bull Ant (Myrmecia gulosa). Cropped and resized image from a Sony DSC-F828 of a Red Bull Ant taken in the Royal National Park, on the 16th of April, 2005. Photo by Peter Bertok http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Peter_bertok
The red bull ant (Myrmecia gulosa), also known as the giant bull ant, is a species of bulldog ant from the genus Myrmecia. It is abundant throughout Eastern Australia.
As one of the largest of ant species, adult individuals have been observed to be as long as 15 mm to 30 mm in body length. The head and thorax are typically coloured red-brown; the rear half of the abdomen is black and the mandibles brown-yellow. Adults characteristically possess the long, powerful serrated mandibles and a venom-laced sting capable of causing severe pain for a couple of days. Unlike most other ant species, red bull ants lack the ability of chemical senses; however, this is compensated by their superior keen vision, with which they can spot and respond to intruders two meters away.
Regarded as a relatively "primitive" ant species, red bull ants are known to be solitary predators that are occasionally uncooperative with one another, whose social behavior is poorly developed in comparison to more "advanced" species. They are notoriously aggressive hunters able to subdue formidable prey such as bees and other ants. Unable to eat solid food, adult ants feed on juices from the prey insects; the meat of the prey is fed to the colony's larvae. Their diet is supplemented by the workers' own trophic (infertile) eggs, which are commonly fed to the queen and larvae.
Nests are constructed underground; tunnel systems may become quite extensive.
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