National Biosecurity Management Group agrees to a revised Response plan for Browsing Ant in the Northern Territory – 24 January 2018

The National Biosecurity Management Group (NBMG) for Browsing Ant in the Northern Territory—comprising all Australian governments—has agreed to a revised 5 year response plan for Browsing Ant in the Northern Territory.

Browsing Ants (Lepisiota frauenfeldi) are exotic and have not established in Australia. They can form large colonies and have the potential to eat and displace native ant species, as well as other insects in the infested area. They are not harmful to people or pets.

Browsing Ant was first detected by Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in 2015 during routine surveillance at East Arm Wharf, Port of Darwin. By April 2017, 20 properties were declared as infested premises (IPs) with no further detections that year.

All known infestations have been treated. The use of odour detector dog surveillance has also proved very useful in identifying remnant populations of treated infestations, locating nests in challenging locations and providing confirmation treated sites are free of the ant. The Northern Territory is developing a communication plan to promote community and industry awareness and engagement about Browsing Ant, how it is spread, what to look out for and how to report it.

Anyone who suspects that they have found an invasive ant population needs to report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 as soon as possible.

Further information on the Browsing Ant response is available from the Northern Territory, Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries.