Pheidole megacephala

Common Name(s)

Big-headed ant, brown house-ant




Big-headed ants occur on various types of habitat, including coastland, forest (exotic and native), shrub and grassland, wetlands and urban and agricultural areas. They are omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates and small vertebrates (e.g. hatching birds), beside they also harvest seeds and are ahrbouring phytophagous insects.


Big-headed ants are a relatively small ant species of grey-yellow to dark brown colour. The first antennal segment of workers exceeds the top of their head and is covered with many long hairs. Their entire body is covered in many sparse, long hairs.

Similar Species

Other two species of the same genera : P. rugosula and P. vigilans

Threat To Plants

Prey and aggression on most invertebrate species may have indirect effects on plant species due to changes in ecosystem processes. Collection of seeds and harbouring of phytophagos insects restricts plant productivity and may also assist the invasion of weed species.


Currently restricted to coastal suburbs of Auckland


Length: 2-4mm

Year Introduced


Colonisation History

First record of introduction in a chocolate factory in Auckland in 1942.