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Pesky ants found in Hawaii demonstrate invasive characteristics
Date:11/1/2011

nts are taking up residence on the western slopes of the Haleakala volcano among some small farms, somewhat like the natural settings where the ants are found on the mainland. But despite a more natural setting in Maui, they're forming large colonies. Buczkowski said he estimated the Maui invasion is a single supercolony with more than 300 nests and multiple queens per nest covering more than 45 acres.

It's likely the ants stowed away on a ship, but Buczkowski said he's still stunned they made such a long journey from their native area.

"They aren't supposed to be in Hawaii," Buczkowski said. "To go from the mainland to Hawaii, more than 2,500 miles over the sea, is amazing."

The ants are also thriving among several inhospitable ant species, such as invasive Argentine and big-headed ants, which are aggressive toward other ant species.

"They didn't just invade a place that was free of ants and gain a foothold. They are in the middle of other ants and thriving," Buczkowski said. "If odorous house ants can get established there, they can get established anywhere. They could be invasive anywhere in the world."


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Contact: Brian Wallheimer
bwallhei@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Pesky ants found in Hawaii demonstrate invasive characteristics
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