Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Species Of Crazy Ant Found At Auckland Port

19 April 2002

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has today confirmed that two tropical species of ants known as Crazy Ants have been found on wharves at Auckland port.

The ants have been intercepted as a direct result of the intensive surveillance programme which commenced earlier this year to ensure that the potentially more dangerous Fire Ants are not present in New Zealand.

"MAF's Fire Ant surveillance programme has ensured that we are able to identify 100% of suspect exotic ant finds and this process is extremely thorough. It is hugely encouraging that to date no Fire Ants have been found and the fact that we have a new find on our hands goes to show how valuable this surveillance is," says Amelia Pascoe, MAF's Programme Coordinator for Exotic Animal Response.

MAF's Reference Laboratory in Auckland have confirmed the tropical ants as the Crazy Ant (Paratrechina longicornis) and the Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes).

These ants are known as Crazy Ants because of their characteristic rapid and erratic movement. The worker ants have extremely long legs, making them relatively easy to identify. The Yellow Crazy Ant, in particular is a major environmental pest. Both species of Crazy Ant are human nuisance pests. Worker ants feed on a wide variety of food types includeing seeds, honey-dew, fruits, other plant materials and household foods.

Searches at the wharves at Auckland port have shown limited infestations restricted to the edges of one wharf and an isolated smaller find which is restricted to an adjacent wharf area.

Initial treatment of the infestations to kill the ants began immediately and was continuing today. Ongoing monitoring will be set up to confirm treatment success.

"As with all finds of this kind our initial response has been to determine how far the ant has spread and to act swiftly to exterminate the pest," says Ms Pascoe.

"There are two important factors with this find. The first is that it has occurred within a port facility where containers and other recently imported goods are stored prior to being given biosecurity clearance. The level of regulation and protection at these port areas is extremely high and follows strict MAF border management standards.

"The second is that this area has been subject to intensive searching and baiting for ants over the last two to three months. This gives us some confidence that the ants have not been present for a long period of time. Early interception is always an important factor for successful containment and eradication.

"We are very appreciative of the cooperation we are constantly receiving from the Ports of Auckland Limited. The good working relationship MAF has with the ports and importers is vital to protecting New Zealand from exotic pests and diseases.

MAF is working with its allied biosecurity agencies, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Health, to further develop and assess its initial response to the interception of Crazy Ants.

Additional information and updates will be available on the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry website at www.maf.govt.nz/crazy-ants from Monday 22 April

For more information on the Fire Ant surveillance programme, including information about the Exotic Disease and Pest Emergency Hotline (0800 809 966) go to www.maf.govt.nz/fire-ants

The Protect New Zealand website address is www.protectnz.org.nz

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels