Due to the unbalanced distribution of their fauna and flora, which leads to the creation of a niche opportunities, it is generally accepted that island communities offer weak biotic resistance to biological invasion. In order to empirically test this statement, we compared resource use by ants in the understorey of an undisturbed New Caledonian rain forest recently invaded by the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata. We tested the exploitation of: (1) food sources by placing baits on all trees with trunks greater than 5 cm in diameter; and (2) nesting sites on two tree species likely to shelter ant colonies. In non-invaded areas, the native ants occupied only 44.6% of the baits after 2 h of exposure, while in invaded areas all the baits were occupied by numerous W. auropunctata workers. Similarly, in non-invaded areas only 48.9% of Meryta coriacea (Araliaceae) trees and 64.5% of Basselinia pancheri (Arecaceae) sheltered ants, while in invaded areas W. auropunctata nested in 92.6–98.3% of these trees. Also, workers attended native Margarodidae (Hemiptera) for which they promoted the development of populations significantly larger than those attended by native ants. Thus native ants appear unable to efficiently exploit and defend several of the available food sources and nesting sites, providing a niche opportunity for an invader like W. auropunctata.