Worldwide distribution. Common in Pacific island countries. Among world's 100 worse invasive species.
Nests under logs, stones, tree bark, leaf litter, and occasionally in houses. Prefers disturbed areas. Eat seeds, other insects, small lizards and birds, and honeydew. A scavenger. Once colonises established, biodiversity declines.
Direct damage to agriculture seeds and plant parts; indirectly by defending aphids, mealybugs, scales and whiteflies from natural enemies.
Queens mate inside colony. Workers are 'major' (big-headed soldiers) or 'minor' (much smaller workers) that rear the brood.
Tramp ant; spread by 'budding' - queens, workers and brood move to new sites. Spread with international trade.
Biosecurity: requires risk assessments, regulations preventing introduction, protocols in case of breaches, and ability to make rapid response. Pacific Ant Prevention Plan available (IUCN/SSC Invasive Specialist Group).
Cultural control: hot water at 47°C kills ants; over 49°C kills plants.
Chemical control: use (i) stomach poisons (fipronil, Amdro®, borax), (ii) growth regulators (methoprene, pyriproxyfen), (iii) nerve poisons (bifenthrin, fipronil, imidacloprid). See (http://piat.org.nz/getting-rid-of-ants).