Global invasive species database

  • General
  • Distribution
  • Impact
  • Management
  • Bibliography
  • Contact
Common name
Singapore ant (English), Mizo-hime-ari (Japanese), destructive trailing ant (English)
Synonym
Atta destructor , Jerdon
Myrmica basalis , Smith
Myrmica gracillima , Smith
Myrmica vexator , Smith
Myrmica atomaria , Gerstaecker
Myrmica ominosa , Gerstaecker
Monomorium ominosa , (Gerstaecker)
Monomorium basale , (Smith).
Similar species
Monomorium latinode, Monomorium mayri
Summary
Monomorium destructor (the Singapore ant) is described as a tramp ant as it is renowned for transporting itself around the world via human commerce and trade. Monomorium destructor is known to cause extensive economic damage in urban environments by gnawing holes in fabric and rubber goods, removing rubber insulation from electric and phone lines and damaging polyethylene cable.
Species Description
The length of workers is highly variable (Polymorphic) from 1.8 to 3.5mm. The body, from head to post petiole, is uniformly light yellow to dull brownish yellow. The gaster (swollen part of abdomen) is always darker. The head and body are mostly smooth, shining and unsculptured except on the very top of the head, which has fine transverse ridges (which are inconspicuous). The antennae have 12 segments, including a 3-segmented club. Club segments increase in size toward the apex. The eyes of M. destructor are relatively small, with 4-6 ommatidia in the longest rows. Mandibles have 3 strong teeth each; with a fourth tooth that is minute. Sparse body hairs cover the ant (Ferster et al. UNDATED; Harris et al. 2005).

Please click on AntWeb: Monomorium destrutor for more images and assistance with identification. The AntWeb image comparison tool lets you compare images of ants at the subfamily, genus, species or specimen level. You may also specify which types of images you would like to compare: head, profile, dorsal or label.
Please see PaDIL (Pests and Diseases Image Library) Species Content Page Ants: Singapore ant for high quality diagnostic and overview images.

Please follow this link for a fully illustrated Lucid key to common invasive ants [Hymenoptera: Formicidae] of the Pacific Island region [requires the most recent version of Java installed]. The factsheet on Monomorium destructor contains an overview, diagnostic features, comparision charts, images, nomenclature and links. (Sarnat, 2008)

Lifecycle Stages
Singapore ant (Monomorium destructor) form large colonies with multiple queens (Ferster et al. UNDATED).
Habitat Description
Singapore ants (Monomorium destructor) nest outdoors or in buildings, depending largely on whether they occur in tropical, semitropical or temperate regions. In northern Western Australia they do not live far from houses where they live above the ground in wall and roof cavities. They are present in some tropical, irrigated, lowland rice fields in the Philippines, and coconut plantations in Sri Lanka. In Florida they nest in soil (lawns) or buildings. On Tiwi Island and in Australia's Northern Territory, M. destructor nests were only associated with urban areas; while there was some spread into surrounding bush land, they appear to be unable to establish in undisturbed habitat. In the United Arab Emirates the ants are present in a wide range of habitats, especially irrigated gardens and disturbed habitats close to water. In the Caribbean they were found nesting in trees in citrus orchards (in hollow twigs and branches) and on the ground (Collingwood et al. 1997; and Harris et al. 2005).
Nutrition
The Singapore ant (Monomorium destructor) is a slow moving ant that forages along narrow trails. A generalist with a broad diet of living and dead insects, insect eggs, carbohydrates from tending sap-sucking insects, nectar, seeds; it will forage for sweets, fats and proteins. In households they will feed on almost any food available. M. destructor foragers are slow to find food compared with other tramp ants (Ferster et al. UNDATED; and Harris et al. 2005).
Pathway
M. destructor is a successful tramp species that has become very widely dispersed by trade (Harris et al. 2005).

Principal source: Harris et al., 2005. Invasive ant pest risk assessment project for Biosecurity New Zealand Monomorium destructor

Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Dr Ben Hoffmann - Ant community ecologist CSIRO-TERC Australia

Publication date: 2009-10-27

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Monomorium destructor. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=960 on 31-08-2016.

General Impacts
On a local level (and mostly in urban environments) decreases in ant species diversity have been observed with introductions of the Singapore ant (Monomorium destructor). Outside of urban environments this species is not a major component of ant communities, but it has been documented displacing native invertebrate fauna through aggression, and as such can be a threat to biodiversity. Foragers gnaw holes in fabric and rubber goods, remove rubber insulation from electric and phone lines, and damage polyethylene cable. Cars parked overnight in infested areas can fail to start the next day after the ants have shorted ignition systems. They also forage for sugars, fats and proteins in houses. M. destructor activities can result in high costs in terms of property damage (cars, telecommunication equipment, TVs, etc.) and treatment. Several house and car fires have been attributed to the ant (Harris et al. 2005; and Pacific Invasive Ant Group, 2004).

Harris et al. 2005 has highlighted the disease-carrying potential of M. destructor, reporting that, a study found bubonic plague bacteria in the faeces of foragers that had fed on plague-infected rats. People being bitten in bed by the ants is very common in the Northern Territory, Australia and is an identifying feature of M. destructor (B. Hoffmann, pers.comm., 2006).

Management Info
Preventative measures: The Pacific Ant Prevention Programme is a proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting for Plant Protection. This plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental or social impacts from establishing within or spreading between countries in the Pacific.

A detailed pest risk assessment for the eight species ranked as having the highest potential risk to New Zealand (Anoplolepis gracilipes, \r\nLasius neglectus, Monomorium destructor, Paratrechina longicornis, Solenopsis geminata, Solenopsis richteri, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Wasmannia auropunctata) was prepared as part of 'The invasive ant risk assessment project', Harris et al. 2005., for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research. Monomorium destructor scored as a high-risk threat to New Zealand. The invasive ant risk assessment for M. destructor can be viewed at Monomorium destructor risk assessment. Please see Monomorium destructor information sheet for more information on biology, distribution, pest status and control technologies.

Chemical: Dried granular corn grit baits are effective against this species. At least three formulations containing 7.3g/kg hydramethylnon (Drax Ant Kil Granular with Hydramethylnon; Garrards Granular Ant Bait; Faslane Granular Ant Bait), and one containing 10 g/kg hydramethylnon (Maxforce Granular Insect Bait) are registered for use against M. destructor in Australia in addition to Amdro (7.3 g/kg hydramethylnon). These baits are also recommended for use against Pheidole megacephala and Solenopsis geminata or ants in general. Engage® (methoprene) and Distance® (pyriproxyfen) have a lipid attractant and are also likely to be attractive to M. destructor. Amdro® has also been used effectively against M. destructor. Ascend® (Affirm®) has been effectively used to control S. invicta and has shown potential to control M. destructor in the field, although some recovery did occur after 2 weeks. Field trials in Malaysia using food attractants found peanut butter was strongly preferred over honey by M. destructor and the use of protein or sugar-based attractants is recommended in baits targeting M. destructor (Stanley, 2004).

Please follow this link for more detailed information on the management of the Singapore ant Monomorium destructor compiled by the ISSG.

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Monomorium destructor
Informations on Monomorium destructor has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Monomorium destructor in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
On a local level (and mostly in urban environments) decreases in ant species diversity have been observed with introductions of the Singapore ant (Monomorium destructor). Outside of urban environments this species is not a major component of ant communities, but it has been documented displacing native invertebrate fauna through aggression, and as such can be a threat to biodiversity. Foragers gnaw holes in fabric and rubber goods, remove rubber insulation from electric and phone lines, and damage polyethylene cable. Cars parked overnight in infested areas can fail to start the next day after the ants have shorted ignition systems. They also forage for sugars, fats and proteins in houses. M. destructor activities can result in high costs in terms of property damage (cars, telecommunication equipment, TVs, etc.) and treatment. Several house and car fires have been attributed to the ant (Harris et al. 2005; and Pacific Invasive Ant Group, 2004).

Harris et al. 2005 has highlighted the disease-carrying potential of M. destructor, reporting that, a study found bubonic plague bacteria in the faeces of foragers that had fed on plague-infected rats. People being bitten in bed by the ants is very common in the Northern Territory, Australia and is an identifying feature of M. destructor (B. Hoffmann, pers.comm., 2006).

Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
AUSTRALIA
ECUADOR
PALAU
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Mechanism
[1] Competition
[3] Poisoning/Toxicity
[2] Other
Outcomes
[3] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [3] Reduction in native biodiversity
[8] Socio-Economic
  • [4] Human nuisance 
  • [4] Damage to infrastructures
Management information
Preventative measures: The Pacific Ant Prevention Programme is a proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting for Plant Protection. This plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental or social impacts from establishing within or spreading between countries in the Pacific.

A detailed pest risk assessment for the eight species ranked as having the highest potential risk to New Zealand (Anoplolepis gracilipes, \r\nLasius neglectus, Monomorium destructor, Paratrechina longicornis, Solenopsis geminata, Solenopsis richteri, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Wasmannia auropunctata) was prepared as part of 'The invasive ant risk assessment project', Harris et al. 2005., for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research. Monomorium destructor scored as a high-risk threat to New Zealand. The invasive ant risk assessment for M. destructor can be viewed at Monomorium destructor risk assessment. Please see Monomorium destructor information sheet for more information on biology, distribution, pest status and control technologies.

Chemical: Dried granular corn grit baits are effective against this species. At least three formulations containing 7.3g/kg hydramethylnon (Drax Ant Kil Granular with Hydramethylnon; Garrards Granular Ant Bait; Faslane Granular Ant Bait), and one containing 10 g/kg hydramethylnon (Maxforce Granular Insect Bait) are registered for use against M. destructor in Australia in addition to Amdro (7.3 g/kg hydramethylnon). These baits are also recommended for use against Pheidole megacephala and Solenopsis geminata or ants in general. Engage® (methoprene) and Distance® (pyriproxyfen) have a lipid attractant and are also likely to be attractive to M. destructor. Amdro® has also been used effectively against M. destructor. Ascend® (Affirm®) has been effectively used to control S. invicta and has shown potential to control M. destructor in the field, although some recovery did occur after 2 weeks. Field trials in Malaysia using food attractants found peanut butter was strongly preferred over honey by M. destructor and the use of protein or sugar-based attractants is recommended in baits targeting M. destructor (Stanley, 2004).

Please follow this link for more detailed information on the management of the Singapore ant Monomorium destructor compiled by the ISSG.

Management Category
Control
None
Monitoring
Bibliography
26 references found for Monomorium destructor

Managment information
AntWeb, 2006. Monomorium destructor AntWeb, 2006. Monomorium destructor
Summary: AntWeb illustrates ant diversity by providing information and high quality color images of many of the approximately 10,000 known species of ants. AntWeb currently focusses on the species of the Nearctic and Malagasy biogeographic regions, and the ant genera of the world. Over time, the site is expected to grow to describe every species of ant known. AntWeb provides the following tools: Search tools, Regional Lists, In-depth information, Ant Image comparision tool PDF field guides maps on AntWeb and Google Earth and Ant genera of the world slide show.
AntWeb is available from: http://antweb.org/about.jsp [Accessed 20 April 2006]
The species page is available from: http://antweb.org/getComparison.do?rank=species&genus=monomorium&name=destructor&project=&project= [Accessed 2 May 2006]
Harris, R.; Abbott, K.; Barton, K.; Berry, J.; Don, W.; Gunawardana, D.; Lester, P.; Rees, J.; Stanley, M.; Sutherland, A.; Toft, R. 2005: Invasive ant pest risk assessment project for Biosecurity New Zealand. Series of unpublished Landcare Research contract reports to Biosecurity New Zealand. BAH/35/2004-1.
Summary: The invasive ant risk assessment project, prepared for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research, synthesises information on the ant species that occur in New Zealand (native and introduced species), and on invasive ants that pose a potential threat to New Zealand.
There is a great deal of information in this risk assessment on invasive ant species that is of global interest, including; biology, distribution, pest status, control technologies.
The assessment project has five sections.1) The Ants of New Zealand: information sheets on all native and introduced ants established in New Zealand 2) Preliminary invasive ant risk assessment: risk scorecard to quantify the threat to New Zealand of 75 ant species. 3) Information sheets on invasive ant threats: information sheets on all ant species scored as medium to high risk (n = 39). 4) Pest risk assessment: A detailed pest risk assessment for the eight species ranked as having the highest potential risk to New Zealand (Anoplolepis gracilipes, Lasius neglectus, Monomorium destructor, Paratrechina longicornis, Solenopsis geminata, Solenopsis richteri, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Wasmannia auropunctata) 5) Ranking of high risk species: ranking of the eight highest risk ant species in terms of the risks of entry, establishment, spread, and detrimental consequences.
NB. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is considered to be the worst ant pest in the world. However, Solenopsis invicta was specifically excluded from consideration in this risk assessment as this species has already been subject to detailed consideration by Biosecurity New Zealand
(This invasive ant pest risk assessment was funded by Biosecurity New Zealand and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Undertaken by Landcare Research in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington and Otago Museum)
Available from: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/Ants/ant_pest_risk.asp [Accessed 20 May 2007]
Hoffmann, Benjamin D and O Connor, Simon., 2004. Eradication of two exotic ants from Kakadu National Park. Ecological Management & Restoration, August 2004, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 98-105(8)
McGlynn, T.P. 1999. The Worldwide Transfer of Ants: Geographical Distribution and Ecological Invasions, Journal of Biogeography 26(3): 535-548.
Pacific Ant Prevention Programme, March 2004. Pacific Invasive Ant Group (PIAG) on behalf of the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).
Summary: A proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting For Plant Protection. This plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental and/or social impacts, entering and establishing in or spreading between (or within) countries of the Pacific Region.
Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII), 2006. Feasibility Study for Singapore ant Eradication in Hatohobei State, Republic of Palau.
Summary: Available from: http://www.issg.org/cii/PII/demo/helenReef.html [Accessed 12 March 2010]
Sarnat, E. M. (December 4, 2008) PIAkey: Identification guide to ants of the Pacific Islands, Edition 2.0, Lucid v. 3.4. USDA/APHIS/PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology and University of California � Davis.
Summary: PIAkey (Pacific Invasive Ant key) is an electronic guide designed to assist users identify invasive ant species commonly encountered in the Pacific Island region. The guide covers four subfamilies, 20 genera and 44 species.
The primary tool offered by PIAkey is an interactive key designed using Lucid3 software. In addition to being fully illustrated, the Lucid key allows users to enter at multiple character points, skip unknown characters, and find the most efficient path for identifying the available taxa. Each species is linked to its own web page. These species pages, or factsheets, are linked to an illustrated glossary of morphological terms, and include the following seven sections: 1) Overview of the species; 2) Diagnostic chart illustrating a unique combination of identification characters; 3) Comparison chart illustrating differences among species of similar appearance; 4) Video clip of the species behavior at food baits (where available); 5) Image gallery that includes original specimen images and live images (where available); 6) Nomenclature section detailing the taxonomic history of the species, and 7) Links and references section for additional literature and online resources.
Available from: http://www.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/PIAkey/index.html [Accessed 17 December 2008]
Stanley, M. C. 2004. Review of the efficacy of baits used for ant control and eradication. Landcare Research Contract Report: LC0405/044. Prepared for: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Summary: Available from: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/ants/BaitEfficacyReport.pdf [Accessed 10 December 2005]
The Ants of Africa, 2006. Genus Monomorium - latinode-group, scabriceps-group & destructor-group
Walker, K. 2006. Singapore ant (Monomorium destructor) Pest and Diseases Image Library. Updated on 29/08/2006 12:03:32 PM.
Summary: PaDIL (Pests and Diseases Image Library) is a Commonwealth Government initiative, developed and built by Museum Victoria s Online Publishing Team, with support provided by DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) and PHA (Plant Health Australia), a non-profit public company. Project partners also include Museum Victoria, the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and the Queensland University of Technology. The aim of the project is: 1) Production of high quality images showing primarily exotic targeted organisms of plant health concern to Australia. 2) Assist with plant health diagnostics in all areas, from initial to high level. 3) Capacity building for diagnostics in plant health, including linkage developments between training and research organisations. 4) Create and use educational tools for training undergraduates/postgraduates. 5) Engender public awareness about plant health concerns in Australia. PaDIL is available from : http://www.padil.gov.au/aboutOverview.aspx, this page is available from: http://www.padil.gov.au/viewPestDiagnosticImages.aspx?id=624 [Accessed 6 October 2006]
General information
Butler, G. D., and J. R. L. Usinger. 1963. Insects and other invertebrates from Laysan Island. ATOLL RESEARCH Bulletin NO 98 1963.
Collingwood, C. A., B. J. Tigar, and D. Agosti. 1997. Introduced ants in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Arid Environments (1997) 37: 505-512
Collingwood, C.A. & Van Harten, A. (2001). The ants (Hym., Formicidae) of Niue, South West Pacific. Entomologist s Monthy Lagazine 137: 139-143.
Espadaler, X. & Bernal, V. (2003). Exotic ants in the Canary Islands (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Vieraea 31: 1-7.
Ferster, B., M. Deyrup, and R. H. Scheffrahn. UNDATED. The Pest Ants of Florida. University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale R.E.C. Fort Lauderdale, FL
Summary: Available from: http://flrec.ifas.ufl.edu/entomo/ants/Pest%20Ants%20of%20FL/destructive_trailing_ant.htm [Accessed 3 November 2005]
Hickman, B., and D. Bieman. 2004. Efficacy of Termidor and Phantom on Tropical Ant Complex in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico.. National Conference on Urban Entomology May 20-22, 2004 Hyatt Regency Phoenix , Arizona.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2005. Online Database Monomorium destructor
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=580080 [Accessed 7 February 2008]
Pezzatti, B., T. Irzan, and D. Cherix. 1998. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Floreana . Lost Paradise?. From Noticias de Gal�pagos No.59 April 1998
Sarnat E.M. and E. P. Economo, 2011. Fiji Ants. The online home of Fiji s Myrmecofauna.
Summary: Available from: http://www.fijiants.org/ [Accessed 7 February 2011]
Taylor, R.W. (1967). Entomological survey of the Cook Islands and Niue. 1-Hymenoptera-Formicidae. New Zealand Journal of Science 10(4): 1092-1095.
Von Aesch, L. (2006). Introduced Ants in Gal�pagos (Floreana Island): Importance of Competition, Coexistence and Aggressive Behaviors. Universit� de Lausanne.
Wetterer, J.K. (2002). Ants of Tonga. Pacific Science 56(2): 2:125�135.
Wetterer, J. K., and B. C. O Hara. 2002. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Dry Tortugas, The outermost Florida Keys. Florida Entomologist 85(2):303-307.
Contact
The following 2 contacts offer information an advice on Monomorium destructor
Hoffmann,
Ben
Invasive ecology, control and eradication of key exotic ant species (P. megacephala, S. geminata, and A. gracilipes) throughout tropical Australia
Organization:
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Address:
PMB 44 Winnellie NT 0822, Australia
Phone:
+61 8 89448432
Fax:
+61 8 89448444
O Connor,
Simon
Simon has previously coordinated New Zealand s national invasive ant programme which included responding to incursions and development and implementation of the surveillance programme. He is currently employed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to implement the preliminary stages of the Pacific Ant Prevention Programme. Extensive surveillance through the Pacific islands, project work around specific ant problems and public awareness building has been the main focus of his current role
Organization:
Coordinator, Pacific Ant Prevention Programme Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Address:
C/- MAF PO Box 2526 Wellington New Zealand
Phone:
64 4 8190539
Fax:
64 4 8190736