Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Ants of New Zealand

Argentine ants on chicken. Image - Richard Toft, Entecol

New Zealand, like other oceanic islands, has a depauperate (species-poor) ant fauna.

There are currently 40 confirmed species from 23 genera in New Zealand. Of these, only 11 are endemic (found only in New Zealand), which are generally widespread geographically and commonly found in forested habitats. The other 29 are introduced species, accidentally transported to New Zealand by humans, mostly from Australia.


  • Borkin KM, Summers RW, Thomas L 2012. Surveying abundance and stand type associations of Formica aquilonia and F. lugubris (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nest mounds over an extensive area: Trialing a novel method. European Journal of Entomology 109(1): 47-53. <Go to ISI>://WOS:000299800200007
  • Ward DF, Stanley MC 2013. Site occupancy and detection probability of Argentine ant populations. Journal of Applied Entomology 137(3): 197–203.
  • Ward DF 2009. The diversity, community composition and seasonality of native and introduced ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in northern New Zealand. Myrmecological news 12: 195-200.
  • Stanley M, Ward D, Harris R, Arnold G, Toft R, Rees J 2008. Optimizing pitfall sampling for the detection of argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). Sociobiology 51(2): 461-472.
  • Stanley MC, Robinson WA 2007. Relative attractiveness of baits to Paratrechina longicornis (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). Journal of economic entomology 100(2): 509-516.
  • Ward DF 2005. Changes to the classification of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Weta 30: 16-18.
  • Ward DF, Harris RJ, Stanley MC 2005. Human-mediated range expansion of Argentine ants Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) in New Zealand. Sociobiology 45(2): 401-407.
  • Harris RJ, Barker G 2007. Relative risk of invasive ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) establishing in New Zealand. New Zealand journal of zoology 34(3): 161-178.
  • Harris RJ, Rees JS, Toft RJ 2002. Trials to eradicate infestations of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in New Zealand. In: Jones SC, Zhai J, Robinson WH ed. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Urban pests. Blacksburg, Virginia, Pocahonta Press. Pp. 67-74.
  • Harris RJ, Berry JA 2001. Confirmation of the establishment of three adventive ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in New Zealand : Cardiocondyla minutior Forel, Ponera leae Forel, Mayriella abstinens Forel. New Zealand entomologist 24: 53-56.
  • Berry JA, Green OR, Shattuck SO 1997/3. Species of Pheidole Westwood (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) established in New Zealand. New Zealand journal of zoology 24(1): 25-33.
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