Navigation Links
Rapacious Rasberry ants march north
Date:11/13/2009

HUNTSVILLE Poor Texas. First it was killer bees, then fire ants. Now, it's the Rasberry ants.

The invasion of this new species of ants has scientists intrigued, businesses concerned and fire ants running for the hills, said Jerry Cook, an entomologist at Sam Houston State University.

Cook and other scientists are at a loss to explain the fast and furious spread of the rapacious ant, which is named after exterminator Tom Rasberry, who discovered the ant in 2002.

The bug was discovered in Houston in 2002 and has quickly spread as far north as Louisiana and Mississippi within the last year.

"This is a species that we do not know much about. Presumably the ant came from the Caribbean through the Port of Houston," Cook said. "We know the ant is in the Paratrechina genus and is capable of growing a population of billions and they need to eat. They especially like other bugs, like fire ants and honey bees."

The population is growing so fast, and so large, that it is potentially an ecosystem disaster, according to Cook.

"If the Rasberry ant can virtually eliminate a pain like the fire ant, what else is it capable of doing?" he said. "If bees are eliminated, plants will not be pollinated which could result to the lack of crops producing fruits and vegetables. That in turn becomes a major problem for the agriculture community. They could become more than a nuisance, they could become a danger."

The Rasberry ant does not have a stinger and therefore cannot inject venom into a person's body; however, it does have formic acid, which creates an irritant reaction rather than a painful poison reaction.

"The bite of the Rasberry ant is far less painful than a fire ant's. Essentially you can get covered with them, and it might freak you out," Cook said.

The population of the Rasberry ant is constantly growing and scientists have not yet discovered a way to eliminate them.

"Without research, we won't discover a solution, and without proper funding we're not likely to get much research," Cook said.

With a research grant, government or otherwise, scientists could reach out to the community to include industries, such as pest control, to develop products and strategies that could control or even eliminate them.

Insecticides will reduce the population and remove them for about a week, but there is no known treatment that would eliminate them for good.

"If we would have had those grants a year ago, we may have been able to start a program that would have eliminated them but now it is probably beyond that point," Cook said.

"Until then, we need to learn how to live with them because the Rasberry, like the fire ant,is here to stay."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Jerry Cook
jcook@shsu.edu
936-294-3620
Sam Houston State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. March of Dimes honors Dr. Gail Harrison for outstanding work in maternal-fetal nutrition
2. March of Dimes establishes 2 new perinatal bioethics awards
3. March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to scientists unraveling the causes of muscular dystrophy
4. Roberta A. Pagon receives lifetime award in genetics from March of Dimes
5. AGU journal highlights -- March 25, 2009
6. Highlights from the March editions of ESA journals
7. American Chemical Societys weekly PressPac -- March 11, 2009
8. Science returns to the Capitol Hill spotlight at March 24 exhibition
9. AGU journal highlights -- March 12, 2009
10. Prominent climate researcher to speak at UH on global warming March 5
11. News from the March 2009 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... Ontario , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, ... management technology respectively, today announced the launch of a ... next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita ... miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of ... now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, ... scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak ... and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used ... investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
Breaking Biology Technology: