Exotic Ants: Biology, Impact, and Control of Introduced Species

Exotic Ants: Biology, Impact, and Control of Introduced Species

Exotic Ants: Biology, Impact, and Control of Introduced Species

Exotic Ants: Biology, Impact, and Control of Introduced Species

Excerpt

Major problems caused by ants are usually a result of exotic species that have been introduced into areas where they have been released from any natural control. The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, in the southern United States; leaf-cutting ants, Atta and Acromyrmex species, on several islands in the tropics; Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis, and Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (formerly Iridomyrmex humilis), in urban environments; the big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala, in Hawaii; the crazy ant, Anoplolepis longipes, in the Seychelles; and, more recently, the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, in the Galapagos Islands are examples of introduced ants that have caused severe problems. In fact, it was because of the problems with the little fire ant in the Galapagos Islands that a conference on the biology, impact and control of introduced ant species was held in 1991 at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands to address the issue of exotic ants. The need for help in the Galapagos was such that the editor and Dr. Daniel Cherix (Museum of Zoology, Lausanne, Switzerland) decided to convene a conference, with the Charles Darwin Research Station acting as host. This conference was to provide a forum for addressing the problems caused by introduced ant species in many parts of the world. In addition, bringing together researchers in the Galapagos Islands who work on pest ants would allow active dialogue on the problems caused by introduced ants in these islands and how to deal with them. Because of illness, Dr. Cherix had to withdraw as an organizer. In his place, Drs. R. S. Patterson (USDA-ARS) and P. G. Koehler (University of Florida) were added to the organizing committee. The conference planning continued, a program was developed, funds were raised, and local arrangements were made. These efforts concluded in the Galapagos Ant Conference, titled "Exotic Ants: Biology, Impact and Control of Introduced Species," held at the Charles Darwin Research Station, October 14-17, 1991.

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