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.

Related Articles


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 October 30, 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 October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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