Chinese customs seize bizarre pets hidden in parcel including giant ants from Australia

QINGDAO (XINHUA) - Qingdao customs in east China's Shandong province have seized 12 living adult ants and 10 ant eggs in a parcel mailed from Australia, the customs said on Tuesday (July 9).

After preliminary identification, the ants include two Myrmecia pyriformis and 10 Iridomyrmex purpureus, both endemic to Australia.

The Myrmecia pyriformis, with a body length up to 2.5cm, is a giant ant that is somewhat toxic.

Invasion of these alien species will pose potential risks on the ecological environment and human health and cause economic losses as they reproduce, the customs said.

An investigation also revealed that the ants were originally scheduled to be kept by the recipient as pets.

Living insects are listed in China's banned entry objects. Quarantine treatment on the ants has been completed.