Thursday, February 27, 2003


Australians living in the northern part of the continent are bracing themselves for the arrival of yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a species whose common name makes them sound pretty scary. According to this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, the ants have been found at more than 60 sites, and may have been introduced at an old American military base by ships traveling from southeast Asia. The ants are considered deadly, swarming over anything that gets in their way and spraying fiery formic acid on their enemies. Officials are hoping to eradicate the creatures, with a poison bait program already in place. The insects have been known on Christmas Island, off the northwest coast of Australia, for over 70 years, but they did not visibly impact the environment there until the 1990s.

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