Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nine To Twenty Individual Fire Ant Queens Started U.S. Fire Ant Population

Date:
August 13, 2008
Source:
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
The current U.S. population of red imported fire ants--which infest millions of acres across the southern states -- can be traced back to nine to 20 queens in Mobile, Alabama.

The current U.S. population of red imported fire ants—which infest millions of acres across the southern states—can be traced back to 9 to 20 queens that arrived in Mobile, Alabama.
Credit: Photo courtesy of S.D. Porter, ARS

The current U.S. population of red imported fire ants--which infest millions of acres across the southern states--can be traced back to nine to 20 queens in Mobile, Ala.

That's according to a genetic study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist D. DeWayne Shoemaker and University of Georgia entomologist Kenneth G. Ross. The results are reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences.

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), native to South America, is a major invasive pest insect and is considered by the World Conservation Unit to be among the top 100 worst invasive alien species.

In their study, the scientists found that those original nine to 20 queens stowed away on a boat, presumably each with their worker force, and began populating the United States in the mid-1930s. These ants spread outward from the purported initial landing spot in Mobile.

Pinpointing the number of queens needed to account for the genetic diversity in the current population allows researchers to better develop biologically-based management practices, predict the invasive potential of the species, and make inferences about the ecological and evolutionary processes.

Because of the red imported fire ant's status as a major pest, an enormous amount of research has been conducted on the basic biology of the species over the past 40 years, making it one of the better known invasive organisms.

Individuals from two populations in South America and six populations across the southern United States were collected for genetic analysis. Data collected substantiates the theory that there is a close genetic resemblance of ants collected near Mobile to a hypothetical, reconstructed ancestral population. However, the data also raises the possibility of a secondary introduction at a location 60 miles west of Mobile.

Further genetic analysis will improve knowledge of the reproductive biology, population demographics, genetics and invasive history of red imported fire ants which may assist in controlling them.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA - Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA - Agricultural Research Service. "Nine To Twenty Individual Fire Ant Queens Started U.S. Fire Ant Population." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807080832.htm>.
USDA - Agricultural Research Service. (2008, August 13). Nine To Twenty Individual Fire Ant Queens Started U.S. Fire Ant Population. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807080832.htm
USDA - Agricultural Research Service. "Nine To Twenty Individual Fire Ant Queens Started U.S. Fire Ant Population." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807080832.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins