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Appearance - About 1.5-2.5mm long, Tend to be yellow brown to brown.


Eggs laid are small in size.
Larvae are fed by the adults and after several moults the larvae pupate.
Once adults, 3 different castes exist:

  • Workers are wingless and sterile that lives for approximately a year. Workers are the nest-builders, food suppliers, feed larvae, look after eggs and defend the nest.
  • Males are winged and exist to mate with females.
  • Females are also winged until after mating and are also the largest in size. Females become the reproductive queen of the colony and live for many years.


Nest in soil and build along pathways around the house including gardens and walls.
Dry areas for nesting.
Will excavate leaving mounds along foot paths and other areas that are unsightly.
Will attack foods around the property including meat, sweets, fruit and greasy foods.


The coastal brown ant does not sting or cause any structural damage, and usually does not bite unless the nest is disturbed, and even then, the bite is not painful. This ant is sometimes confused with subterranean termites because it may create debris-covered foraging tubes that are somewhat similar, albeit much more fragile, than termite tubes. More often these ants leave piles of loose sandy soil. Homeowners are often annoyed by these ‘dirt piles’ and by ants foraging in bathrooms, kitchens, around doors, and windows, as well as on exterior paved or brick walkways or driveways. Their attraction to food also causes annoyance within populated areas.

coastal brown ant (Pheidole megacephala)