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Tuesday, 21 August 1906

Mr CULPIN (BRISBANE. QLD) - I wish, to draw the attention of the Minister of Trade and Customs to part of a letter from the Government Entomologist of the Transvaal, to the Government Entomologist of New South Wales, on the subject of rabbit-eating ants. The letter was published in the Sydney Daily Telegraph of Friday last, and in it the writer, says, with reference to the rabbit-eating ants which have appeared in the Transvaal -

I have looked this question up for you, but am unable to give you the scientific name of the ant in question. It is called the red ant by the farmers, and often causes great trouble. They infest houses, bite people severely, will carry away any sort of meat, and it has been reported that they have killed a canary in iti cage. Further, I know of a house, which has a verandah infested, and the ants are very numerous and active; the people cannot stay on the verandah on account of the bite of the insects. They also worry dogs. A case has also been reported to me where these ants have caused the destruction of mice in their nests.

As he promised to obtain some of these ants, and to send them to New South Wales, I ask the Minister of Trade and Customs whether steps should not be taken to prevent their introduction until we know more about them.

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