meat ant

noun

: any of several ants of the genus Iridomyrmex that are found mainly in Australia, typically feed as scavengers, and often form large colonies protected by aggressive workers
especially : a reddish-purple ant (I. purpureus synonym I. detectus) common throughout Australia and forming large nest mounds which are often topped with gravel
Meat ants are Australia's most prolific ants, sometimes building super-nests that extend more than 650m. The 1cm-long workers also have powerful jaws and bite rather than sting. Peter Morley, Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Australia), 6 Apr. 2003

Word History

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of meat ant was in 1900

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Cite this Entry

“Meat ant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meat%20ant. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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