invasive species

Myrmecos

Tag archives for invasive species

If I had to pick the most annoying insect in Illinois it’d be Harmonia axyridis. This lady beetle was introduced to our continent as a control agent for aphids but became a pest in its own right. It consumes not just aphids but all manner of other insects, including beneficials like native lady beetles. Swarms…

Mayr’s Trap-Jaw Ant, Anochetus mayri

Anochetus mayri is an ant most North American myrmecologists will not have encountered in the field.  This toothy exotic is a small brown insect, less than half a centimeter long, known in the United States only from scattered locations in suburban Florida.  I photographed one this summer on a collecting trip to West Palm Beach.…

Survivor: Invasive Ants

from an interview with Survivor contestant Kelly Sharbaugh: When your name showed up, you looked flabbergasted, shocked, dumbfounded. All of the above. I had no idea that Russell had the idol. When [host Jeff Probst] said my name, I was like. “What just happened? What did I do?” I was so emotional because I was…

The ant invasions continue…

In the past week: Solenopsis invicta reaches Missouri Wasmannia auropunctata reported on Maui

Study invasive ants on Christmas Island!

From my inbox, a postdoctoral job announcement: The Department of Botany, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct research in Invasion Biology on Christmas Island.  Over the last decade, supercolonies of the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes have spread across island rainforest and caused a variety of significant…

Meccas for Myrmecology: Mobile, Alabama

The port city of Mobile, Alabama holds special significance for students of ant science.  Jo-anne and I took a weekend trip down to the gulf coast in January, and as we are both myrmecologists we felt compelled to stop and take a few photographs.  Not only is Mobile the childhood home of ant guru E.…

What is a Supercolony?

There’s been a debate simmering among Argentine Ant researchers about the difference between the ant’s ecology in its native South America and in the introduced populations.  The heart of the disagreement is this:  is the introduced Argentine ant dominant because its biology changed during introduction, or because the ecologies of the native and introduced ranges…

A mysterious tramp: Pheidole moerens

Pheidole moerens is a small, barely noticeable insect that travels about with human commerce, arriving without announcement and slipping quietly into the leaf litter and potted plants about town.   As introduced ants go, P. moerens is timid and innocuous- it’s certainly no fire ant.  The species is now present in the southeastern United States, a…

Pacific Invasive Ants

This just in:  Eli Sarnat’s “Pacific Invasive Ants” website is up.  It’s got something for everyone: fact sheets, videos, keys, links.   Eli’s got an eye for design, too, so the site is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. http://www.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/PIAkey/index.html (postscript:  yeah, yeah.  Pacific Disturbance Specialist Ants.  I know.)

Prevailing wisdom holds that imported fire ants marched across the southern United States on the virtue of their fierce nature and superior competitive ability.  The fire ant conquest of the south reads like a tale of bravery and intrigue, but according to Walt Tschinkel and Josh King it is also not true.   They have a…