Jack Jumper Ants – A Quick Guide

The Jack jumper ant, Myrmecia pilosula, also known as a hopper ant, is found in Australia and is a species of bull ant. They are a medium-sized ant measuring around 0.4 inches (1 cm) in length.

How did the Jack jumper ant get its name?

They can jump a long way. They can jump around 2 to 3 inches (51 to 76 mm). They often jump around giving them an appearance of moving in a hopping motion hence why they are also known as hopper ants. They will also jump in order to catch prey.

Do Jack jumper ants have good eyesight?

They have excellent eyesight. Unlike many other species that detect prey with their antennae, Jack jumper ants use their eyesight. They have enlarged eyes and move their head from side to side to detect movement.

Are Jack jumper ants venomous?

The sting is more venomous than most other insect stings. Their sting is effective at killing prey as well as a good form of self-defense against predators. Their sting is only moderately painful to humans, relative to other insects, but the venom is higher than many other insects. Their sting is only dangerous for those who suffer from allergic reactions and can be serious in these cases. A handful of deaths have been recorded as a result of allergic reactions.

Do Jack jumper ants have large mandibles?

Like other bull ant species, the Jack jumper ant has large mandibles. These are claw-like mouthparts that they use for biting, cutting, and fighting. They have distinctive yellow or orange mandibles which makes them easily identifiable. Males have much smaller mandibles than female workers and queens.

Jack Jumper ant
Jack jumper ant -Kevin Wells@123rf.com

What do Jack jumper ants prey on?

They kill bees and wasps. The Jack jumper ant doesn’t just target defenseless insects, they also prey on wasps and other ants such as carpenter ants. Their sting kills their prey which they detect with their excellent vision. Like other bull ants, they hunt alone.

How do Jack jumper ants heat their nests?

They create solar energy traps to heat their nest. The Jack jumper ant nest is visible as a gravelly mound. They like to nest in areas with fine gravel. They take advantage of the heat from the sun by layering their nest with dry objects that quickly absorb heat. They litter stones, sticks, and even charcoal over their nests. In addition to these heat-absorbing objects, they also camouflage their nest with leaves and grass.

Do Jack jumper ants have multiple queens?

Their colonies have more than one queen. Unlike other species where there is one dominant queen, Jack jumper ant colonies can have around two to four queens. A single colony may have up to 1000 ants.

Are Jack jumper ants aggressive?

They are aggressive. Jack jumper ants are known for their aggression and will not shy away from attacking humans. Keeping a distance is recommended. They are not common in urban areas as they prefer woodlands and open forests, although they can also be found on lawns.