Thursday, October 09, 2008
The Aussie bull ant (Myrmecia sp).
When it comes to poisonous critters we've got the 'est': most venomous etc. Even the bloody platypus is venomous. Now the Brown Snake may be all the rage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and certainly has a rather cool - hay I'm one of the dedliest snakes in the world - kind of thing going for its image and sure, bull ants are not in that league of poisonousness as say a box jellyfish, nore do they swarm in insane numbers like green tree ants but at up to 30mm long (3cm or 1.2 inches for you non SI types) and each and every one of them delivering a sting from their mandibles and multiple stings from their hypodermic tail sting, these guys are not to be fucked with. At 3 (out of 4) on the Starr sting pain scale that's about as bad as it gets. They aggressively chase you, can jump and whilst usually solitary, they will swarm if you are stupid or unlucky and stand on a nest.
They are responsible for more deaths than snake bite, shark attack, spider bite and crock attack combined.
They are primitive and pre-date the separation of wasps from ants.
There is a larger one - black with yellow pincers, 40mm long, that is absolutely solitary and is much more aggressive. Whilst the photo would have been good I'm glad these were not the bigger ant as I took this photo less than 30m from my back door.