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Myrmecia pilosula
General Details, Taxonomy and Biology, Venom, Clinical Effects, Treatment, First Aid , Antivenoms
Myrmecia pilosula (Jumper ant, jack jumper) [ Original photo copyright © Dr Julian White ]
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
SubClass: Hymenopteroidea
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: pilosula
Common Names
Jumper ant , Jack jumper
Taxonomy and Biology
Moderate to large ant, total body length about 13 mm, well developed mandibles, sting in abdomen.
Species Map
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General: Venom Neurotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Myotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Procoagulants
Not present
General: Venom Anticoagulants
Not present
General: Venom Haemorrhagins
Not present
General: Venom Nephrotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Cardiotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Necrotoxins
Probably not present
General: Venom Other
Histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, amino acids, oligopeptides, phospholipids, carbohydrates, melittin, apamin, mast cell degranulating peptide, secapin, tertiapin, protease inhibitor, procamine A&B, phospholipase A&B, hyaluronidases, acid phosphomonoesterase, alpha-D-glucosidase
Clinical Effects
General: Dangerousness
Severe envenoming only possible with high numbers of stings, at least >50. In adults usually requires >300 stings.
General: Rate of Envenoming: All stings cause local envenoming
General: Untreated Lethality Rate: Except in individuals with severe sensitivity to the venom, lethality rate is almost zero in single or small numbers of stings.
General: Local Effects
Local pain & swelling, sometimes local blistering, rarely ulceration
General: Local Necrosis
Rare, localised only
General: General Systemic Effects
General systemic effects unlikely, except with severe allergy or high numbers of stings
General: Neurotoxic Paralysis
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: Myotoxicity
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: Coagulopathy & Haemorrhages
Very rare, associated with either anaphylactic shock and secondary DIC, or direct venom toxicity from large numbers of stings, again secondary shock and DIC.
General: Renal Damage
Rare, secondary effect of anaphylactic shock or direct venom toxicity from large numbers of stings
General: Cardiotoxicity
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: Other
Rarely haemolysis, following massive envenoming by large numbers of stings
First Aid
Description: First aid for Ant Stings (Australian stinging ants; inch ants, jumping ants, jack jumper ant)
1. Apply a cold pack to the sting area.
2. If the patient develops generalised rash, difficulty breathing or becomes faint or collapses, urgent treatment is required, as this is an acute allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to the venom. If there is any impairment of vital functions, such as problems with respiration, airway, circulation, heart function, these must be supported as a priority. In particular, both airway and respiration may be impaired, requiring urgent and prolonged treatment, which may include the mouth to mask (mouth to mouth) technique of expired air transfer. Seek urgent medical attention.
3. If the victim is already known to have an allergy to insect venom (bee or wasp), they are at risk of a major allergic reaction. At the first sign of such a reaction, if available, administer epinephrine (adrenaline, "epipen") as instructed on the medication. If the reaction includes airway constriction (asthma) and a "ventolin" puffer is available, use it. Seek urgent medical attention.
Treatment Summary
Australian jumper & inch ants can sting as well as bite. The sting causes local pain, swelling, sometimes infection and ulceration, but not systemic envenoming.
Key Diagnostic Features
Local pain, swelling; in allergic cases, potentially anaphylaxis
General Approach to Management
Most cases will develop local effects only, predominantly pain & swelling, requiring local treatment. A few patients develop major allergy and may present with systemic allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, requiring full resuscitation. All cases developing even mild systemic allergic reactions should be referred to an immunologist allergist for advice, determination of allergic risk and provision of emergency training and adrenaline.
Antivenom Therapy
No antivenom available
No Antivenoms
Myrmecia pilosula (Jumper ant, jack jumper) [ Original photo copyright © Dr Julian White ]
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