Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The most widespread ant and its new relative: A revision of the genus Paratrechina

Date:
October 25, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
The long-horned crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis, is one of the world's worst invasive ant species. Due to the ease with which it moves around with human activity, biologists have had difficulty in determining the native range of P. longicornis. A recent review of the genus in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research helps shed light on the native range of P. longicornis and announces the discovery of a second species, P. zanjensis, native to Africa.

This image shows P. Longicornis the widest distributed ant species due to human activity.
Credit: John S. LaPolla; CC-BY 3.0

Long considered to be one of the most species-rich ant genera, latest research has stripped the ant genus Paratrechina down to a single species- Paratrechina longicornis. This particular ant is one of the most widely distributed, found in nearly every tropical and subtropical location on the planet due to accidental human transport, and is considered one of the world's worst invasive ant species. A recent review of the genus in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research announces the discovery of a second species P. zanjensis, which presents a step forward into determining the native range of P. longicornis.

Related Articles


Native to Africa, and so far found only in miombo woodlands, the new species P. zanjensis is potentially specialized to this habitat. Miombo is the Swahili word for the Brachystegia genus of trees which are an important tree species within miombo woodlands. The specific name of this new species -- zanjensis -- is derived from the ancient Arabic name for the stretch of East African coast that encompasses parts of modern day Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania, where the species is found.

"Given the economic and ecological impacts of Paratrechina longicornis, discovering a close relative may provide us with insights into the biology of one of the world's worst invasive ant species. For instance, now that we know another species exist within the genus, comparative studies can begin to perhaps understand the attributes that make P. longicornis such a good biological invader," says Dr. John S. LaPolla of Towson University, USA.

Unlike its new relative, the long known P. longicornis, exhibits remarkable adaptability and is spread virtually worldwide through human activity and movement. The species is found almost in every urban center in the tropics as well as in greenhouses and other humanmade structures in cool temperature climates. The remarkable ability of this ant to survive even in extremely human changed environment also makes it a well-known pest in tropical climates, commonly called crazy ant due to its erratic movements.

Due to this wide distribution and easy adaptation of P. longicornis the determination of its native range has proved a challenge to biologists. The current revision suggests that the species originates in Asia, as previously considered, however further investigation is needed to confirm this thesis.

"Given the available distribution information on P. longicornis, we conclude that P. longicornis remains most likely native to southeastern Asia, and that the discovery of a new species native to Africa makes Paratrechina yet another example of an ant genus that possesses an Afro-Asian distribution.," explains Dr. John S. LaPolla.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. LaPolla JS, Hawkes PG, Fisher JN. Taxonomic review of the ant genus Paratrechina, with a description of a new species from Africa. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 2013 DOI: 10.3897/JHR.35.5628

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "The most widespread ant and its new relative: A revision of the genus Paratrechina." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025123317.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, October 25). The most widespread ant and its new relative: A revision of the genus Paratrechina. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025123317.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "The most widespread ant and its new relative: A revision of the genus Paratrechina." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025123317.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. 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