Amazing AP find in Mount Maunganui
A big shoutout from Biosecurity New Zealand and KVH to the Accredited Person (AP) at the Port of Tauranga who detected two live queen tree ants on a sea container from Malaysia.
Brett from Specialised Container Services in Mount Maunganui found the ants in a power cable plug while inspecting the container. He contained them and phoned Biosecurity New Zealand. The ants were huge – about 20-25mm long.
Confirmed shortly after as green tree ants, they were both queens, and as the only ants capable of reproducing in a colony they pose the greatest biosecurity risk. Found throughout tropical Asia and northern Australia the ants are aggressive, with a painful bite, into which they can secrete acid that causes a severe allergic reaction.
Although this detection isn’t of a threat to kiwifruit, it shows how committed frontline workers are at the Port of Tauranga and how much of a positive impact our Biosecurity Excellence partnership has.
Image: Ants caught, photographed, and reported by Specalised Container Services at the Port of Tauranga. Credit: Biosecurity New Zealand.