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June 20, 2024

Invasive Yellow Crazy Ants confirmed in Lismore

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Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) has been confirmed in Lismore, the first time in more than a decade the species has been found in NSW. Photo supplied.

Yellow Crazy Ants, a highly invasive exotic pest that can spread very quickly, build super colonies and damage local ecosystems were identified in Lismore recently. A member of the public identified the outbreak and reported it through the NSW DPI Biosecurity Hotline.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and North Coast Local Land Services staff will today begin a surveillance and identification operation targeting Yellow Crazy Ant in Lismore.

DPI officers this week confirmed samples of exotic ants found in street trees in central Lismore were Yellow Crazy Ants.

The species has not been confirmed in the state since being eradicated from Goodwood Island in the Clarence River more than a decade ago.

DPI Biosecurity and food safety director for invasive plants and animals Andrew Sanger said community action would be key to ensuring the limits of the outbreak can be established and give eradication efforts the best chance.

‘It was a member of the local community who spotted this outbreak in Lismore and who reported it through the NSW DPI Biosecurity Hotline,’ he said.

‘Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services staff, in conjunction with Lismore City Council and Rous County Council, will undertake targeted surveillance and mapping of the outbreak today but we would also urge the community to be vigilant.

‘If you see these ants – yellow or brownish, about 5mm long, with very long legs and antennae and an erratic walking style – you can report them on the Biosecurity Hotline, the DPI website, or via the Local Lands Services office.’

Yellow Crazy Ant is a serious environmental pest, and although not a direct threat to humans they pose a serious economic and environmental threat and have the potential to spread to large parts of Australia.

Reports can be made via the NSW DPI Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 680 244, online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/info/reportexoticant or through Local Lands Services.

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