National Management Group Communiqué: African black sugar ant (Lepisiota incisa) at Perth, Western Australia - 22 December 2020

The National Biosecurity Management Group (NBMG) – comprising all governments – agreed to a three year nationally cost shared eradication response plan for Lepisiota incisa sometimes known as African black sugar ant, in Perth, Western Australia (WA) under the National Environmental Biosecurity Response Agreement.

The eradication response will be led by WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and will include a range of techniques to delimit, contain and eradicate infestations in the Perth metropolitan area. DPIRD is working closely with staff from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to treat L. incisa in premises under the Commonwealth’s regulatory control.

This is the first known report of L. incisa in Australia. L. incisa in an exotic invasive ant that can form super colonies and impact on the environment by reducing biodiversity and out competing native ant species. It has been observed harvesting plastic and has the potential to damage electrical equipment and infrastructure. L. incisa is not known to sting or be harmful to human health.

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

For more information on current national biosecurity responses please follow visit the national pest and disease outbreaks web page.