By Maria Fletcher | One of the world’s most deadly ants, Myrmecia pilosula — better known as the Jack Jumper, is native to Tasmania. The Jack Jumper (also called the Hopper) ant exists only in Australia and a close encounter can prove deadly to the more than 60,000 people who are allergic to its sting.
It is estimated that around 10 per cent of the Tasmanian population may be allergic to the Jack Jumper, with around 3 per cent suffering life threatening anaphylaxsis if attacked by the ant.
Anaphylaxis to the Jack Jumper is not rare. Jack Jumper ants cause more deaths in Tasmania than spiders, snakes, wasps, and sharks combined. This allergic reaction to this ant does not disappear quickly. Studies have shown that 70% of people with the allergy will have another allergic reaction if re-stung. This sensitivity to repeat stings seem to go on for many years.