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  • Linepithema humile (Photo: Peter T. Oboyski, USGS-BRD)
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  • Linepithema humile (Photo:BL Fisher, AntWeb, hosted by California Academy of Sciences)
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  • Linepithema humile (Photo: Mark Deyrup , AntWeb, hosted by California Academy of Sciences)
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Common name
Argentinische Ameise (German), Argentine ant (English), formiga-Argentina (Portuguese, Brazil)
Synonym
Iridomyrmex humilis , (Mayr, 1868)
Similar species
Summary
Linepithema humile (the Argentine ant) invades sub-tropical and temperate regions and is established on six continents. Introduced populations exhibit a different genetic and social makeup that confers a higher level of invasiveness (due to an increase in co-operation between workers in the colony). This allows the formation of fast growing, high density colonies, which place huge pressures on native ecosystems. For example, Linepithema humile is the greatest threat to the survival of various endemic Hawaiian arthropods and displaces native ant species around the world (some of which may be important seed-dispersers or plant-pollinators) resulting in a decrease in ant biodiversity and the disruption of native ecosystems.
Species Description
Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) workers are monomorphic, displaying no physical differentiation (Holway et al. 2002a). The workers of this species are small, medium to dark brown ants, reaching 2 to 3mm in length. Body surface is smooth and shiny and lacks hairs on the dorsum of the head and thorax. The petiole is composed of a single, scale-like segment, and sting is absent. Workers are extremely fast moving and industrious, often recruiting in high numbers.

Please click on AntWeb: Linepithema humile for more images and assistance with identification. The AntWeb image comparison tool lets you compare images of ants at the subfamily, genus, species or specimen level. You may also specify which types of images you would like to comare: head, profile, dorsal, or label.
Please see PaDIL (Pests and Diseases Image Library) Species Content Page Ants: Argentine ant for high quality diagnostic and overview images.

Please follow this link for a fully illustrated Lucid key to common invasive ants [Hymenoptera: Formicidae] of the Pacific Island region [requires the most recent version of Java installed]. The factsheet on Linepithema humile contains an overview, diagnostic features, comparision charts, images, nomenclature and links. (Sarnat, 2008)

Notes
The change in the structure of Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) colonies in introduced populations (i.e. in non-native regions) is due to the genetic makeup of such colonies (Tsutsui et al. 2000; Tsutsui and Suarez 2003). These “uniclonal” colonies consist of workers that lack internest aggression, allowing workers to co-operate together as one supercolony, optimising foraging range and efficiency. This trait is greatly advantageous and allows ant colonies to attain high local densities and dominate ecosystems rapidly (McGlynn 1999; Holway et al. 2002a; Ness and Bronstein 2004). The mechanisms required for workers to recognise workers from a different colony are believed to be dependant on genetic mechanisms (i.e. differences). Researchers believe that because introduced populations have a lower level of genetic diversity compared with parent populations (due to having experienced a “population bottle-neck”) there is insufficient genetic diversity between workers for ants to be able to recognise workers as belonging to a different colony (Tsutsui et al. 2000). It has been suggested that the introduction of new alleles into introduced populations could increase genetic differentiation sufficient to trigger intraspecific aggression (which would alter colony structure, leading to a decrease in ant densities). On the other hand, populations with low levels of genetic diversity have underlying inherent traits that reduce adaptive ability in the long run and this control method may prevent the natural break-down of uniclonal colonies over time (Tsutsui et al. 2000).
Lifecycle Stages
Virgin queens are believed to mate in the nest and disperse through budding rather than participating in a nuptial flight, resulting in the formation of large, many-queened, cooperating unicolonies (Markin, 1968). Queens may be killed by workers after one year and replaced by newly mated queens (Markin, 1970; Keller et al., 1989).
Habitat Description
The physical environment may highly influence the suitability of a given habitat for a competitively dominant invader such as the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) (Holway 2002b). The optimal environment for Argentine ants is characterised by moderate temperatures and moisture levels. In arid regions, including the fynbos of South Africa and the scrublands of California, invasiveness is limited by temperature, as Argentine ants are less temperature tolerant than native ants (Witt and Giliomee 1999, Temper 1976, in Holway 2002b). In field trials foraging activity ceases at around 40°C - 44°C, with maximum foraging occurring 34°C (Holway 2002b). Moisture gradients also regulate invasiveness; Argentine ants generally penetrate further into mesic (moist and green) habitats than into xeric habitats (dry and sparse). For example, evidence from California has shown that Argentine ants disperse faster near perennial streams than near intermittent streams. (Holway 1998, in Holway 2002b).\r\n

Some abiotic factors are known to potentially regulate Argentine ant invasiveness; in Australia the large biodiversity of the ant genus Iridomyrmex confers a certain level of natural resistance to some habitats (Majer 1994, Andersen 1997, and Hoffmann et al. 1999, in Holway et al. 2002a). Humans predispose habitats to Argentine ant invasion as they create mesic habitats within arid zones through the modification of land. For example, in San Diego, runoff resulting from irrigation and human dwellings increases natural runoff by more than four-fold (Holway 2002b). This forms habitats more suitable to Argentine ant colonisation, indirectly opening up environments to ant invasions. A study by Suarez, Bolger, and Case (1998), conducted in California, showed the Argentine ant to be more abundant near developed areas.

Reproduction
Sexual, haplodiploid system. Although the workers of all invasive ants are sterile, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) can rear eggs and early instar larvae into sexuals in the absence of queens. It is not known whether orphaned colonies of other invasive ants are able to develop into reproductive viable colonies despite the absence of a queen (Holway et al. 2002a).
Nutrition
In Argentina, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is commonly referred to as the sugar ant: a fitting name given its preference for sweet substances (Newell and Barber 1913, in Holway et al. 2002a). In line with this observation, baiting trials suggest that L. humile considers carbohydrate-rich resources such as honey or water equally, if not more attractive than protein-rich resources (Ness and Bronstein 2004). However, the ant has an overall generalised diet (similar to other invasive ants), including nectar, insects, carrion and honeydew secreted by Homopteran insects (Woodworth 1908, Horton 1918, Mallis 1942, Flanders 1943, Creighton 1950, Markin 1970a, in Suarez Bolger and Case 1998).
Pathway
Argentine ants were commonly found in cargo coming from California in the early part of the 20th century (Zimmerman 1941, in Earlham College 2002). For example, early this century it was noted that nearly every one of over 100 steamships landing between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was heavily invested with Argentine ants (Newell and Barber 1913, Barber 1916, in Suarez Holway and Case 2001).Nest fragments may be moved by transport vehicles. Colony establishment may be achieved by relatively small propagules, with as little as a single queen and 10 workers required for the establishment of a new colony (Hee et al. 2000).Argentine ants were brought to Hawaii with troops in the Second World War (Passera 1990, in Earlham College 2002).

Principal source:

Compiler: Paul Krushelnycky, University of California at Berkeley; Andrew Suarez, University of California at Berkeley & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Paul Krushelnycky, University of California at Berkeley; Andrew Suarez, University of California at Berkeley.

Publication date: 2009-08-04

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Linepithema humile. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=127 on 30-08-2016.

General Impacts
While the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is associated with disturbed habitats throughout its introduced range, it can penetrate native habitats that have experienced little human disturbance. Examples include: matorral in Chile, fynbos in South Africa, coastal sage scrub in southern California, riparian woodlands in California, subalpine shrubland in Hawaii, and oak and pine woodland in Portugal (Fuentes 1991, Bond and Slingsby 1984, Suarez Bolger and Case 1998, Ward 1987, Holway 1998, Cole et al. 1992, in Suarez Holway and Case 2001).\r\n

L. humile is a dominant ant and an aggressive competitor. It has displaced native ant species in an ecologically sensitive area in Spain (Carpintero et al. 2005) and has been associated with local extinctions of native ants in California (Suarez Bolger and Case 1998). Californian ants that are especially sensitive to displacement are army ants (Neivamyrmex spp.) and harvester ants (genera Messor and Pogonomyrmex), both of which are important ecosystem regulators (Suarez Bolger and Case 1998). Monomorium species, such as M. ergatogyna, may persist because of their chemical defences or their tolerance of higher temperatures (Holway 1999, Adams and Traniello 1981, Andersen et al. 1991, in Holway et al. 2002a). In introduced regions L. humile may be displaced by the red imported fire ant (Solenopis invicta), another invasive ant (Holway et al. 2002a).\r\n

Invasive ants have a great potential to alter ecosystem processes, including ant-mediated seed dispersal or plant pollination. In California the removal of seeds produced by the myrmecochorous (ant-dispersed) tree poppy Dendromecon rigida is less in areas inhabited by the Argentine ant (L. humile) than in areas inhabited by the common harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex subnitidus) (Carney et al. 2003). A similar outcome has occured in the South African fynbos, where the displacement of large native ants by L. humile has lead to a reduction in the dispersal of large ant-dispersed seeds and a reduction in the reproduction of those plants (Christian 2001, Holway et al. 2002a). \r\n

Native arthropods are greatly threatened by Argentine ants. In South Africa, the Argentine ant can collect up to 42% of available nectar before bees can forage (Buys 1987, in Holway et al. 2002a). In Hawaii the Argentine ant reduces numbers of many native arthropods, including essential pollinators (Cole et al. 1992, in Krushelnycky et al. 2004), the loss of which could threaten insect-pollinated plants such as the endangered “silversword” (Argyroxiphium spp.)

Management Info
Preventative measures: The Pacific Ant Prevention Programme is a proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting for Plant Protection. The plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental or social impacts from establishing within, or spreading between, countries in the Pacific.

Please see Linepithema humile information sheet, prepared as part of 'The invasive ant risk assessment project', Harris et al. 2005., for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research.

Hartley et al. (2006) modelled the potential future range of the Argentine ant. They found that it is most likely to occur where the mean daily temperature in mid-winter is 7-14°C and maximum daily temperatures during the hottest month average 19-30°C. Uninvaded regions considered vulnerable to future establishment include: southern China, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, central Madagascar, Morocco, high-elevation Ethiopia, Yemen and a number of oceanic islands.

Integrated management: The potential of invasive ants to reach high densities is greater in human-modified ecosystems; particularly in land intensely utilised for primary production. For example, L. humile reaches high densities in agricultural systems, such as citrus orchards, that host Homopteran honey-dew producing insects (Armbrecht and Ulloa-Chacón 2003; Holway et al. 2002a). Improved land management, including a reduction in monoculture and an increase in the efficiency of primary production, may help prevent ant population explosions, alleviate the problems caused by high densities of ants and reduce sources of ant infestation.\r\n

Please follow this link for more detailed information on the management of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile compiled by the ISSG.

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Linepithema humile
NATIVE RANGE
  • argentina
  • brazil
  • paraguay
  • uruguay
Informations on Linepithema humile has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Linepithema humile in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
While the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is associated with disturbed habitats throughout its introduced range, it can penetrate native habitats that have experienced little human disturbance. Examples include: matorral in Chile, fynbos in South Africa, coastal sage scrub in southern California, riparian woodlands in California, subalpine shrubland in Hawaii, and oak and pine woodland in Portugal (Fuentes 1991, Bond and Slingsby 1984, Suarez Bolger and Case 1998, Ward 1987, Holway 1998, Cole et al. 1992, in Suarez Holway and Case 2001).\r\n

L. humile is a dominant ant and an aggressive competitor. It has displaced native ant species in an ecologically sensitive area in Spain (Carpintero et al. 2005) and has been associated with local extinctions of native ants in California (Suarez Bolger and Case 1998). Californian ants that are especially sensitive to displacement are army ants (Neivamyrmex spp.) and harvester ants (genera Messor and Pogonomyrmex), both of which are important ecosystem regulators (Suarez Bolger and Case 1998). Monomorium species, such as M. ergatogyna, may persist because of their chemical defences or their tolerance of higher temperatures (Holway 1999, Adams and Traniello 1981, Andersen et al. 1991, in Holway et al. 2002a). In introduced regions L. humile may be displaced by the red imported fire ant (Solenopis invicta), another invasive ant (Holway et al. 2002a).\r\n

Invasive ants have a great potential to alter ecosystem processes, including ant-mediated seed dispersal or plant pollination. In California the removal of seeds produced by the myrmecochorous (ant-dispersed) tree poppy Dendromecon rigida is less in areas inhabited by the Argentine ant (L. humile) than in areas inhabited by the common harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex subnitidus) (Carney et al. 2003). A similar outcome has occured in the South African fynbos, where the displacement of large native ants by L. humile has lead to a reduction in the dispersal of large ant-dispersed seeds and a reduction in the reproduction of those plants (Christian 2001, Holway et al. 2002a). \r\n

Native arthropods are greatly threatened by Argentine ants. In South Africa, the Argentine ant can collect up to 42% of available nectar before bees can forage (Buys 1987, in Holway et al. 2002a). In Hawaii the Argentine ant reduces numbers of many native arthropods, including essential pollinators (Cole et al. 1992, in Krushelnycky et al. 2004), the loss of which could threaten insect-pollinated plants such as the endangered “silversword” (Argyroxiphium spp.)

Red List assessed species 4: CR = 1; EN = 1; VU = 1; LC = 1;
Mechanism
[10] Competition
[3] Predation
[1] Interaction with other invasive species
[1] Other
Outcomes
[14] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Modification of food web
  • [11] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [2] Habitat degradation
[1] Environmental Species - Population
  • [1] Population size decline
[6] Socio-Economic
  • [3] Damage to agriculture
  • [2] Human nuisance 
  • [1] Alteration of recreational use and tourism
Management information
Preventative measures: The Pacific Ant Prevention Programme is a proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting for Plant Protection. The plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental or social impacts from establishing within, or spreading between, countries in the Pacific.

Please see Linepithema humile information sheet, prepared as part of 'The invasive ant risk assessment project', Harris et al. 2005., for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research.

Hartley et al. (2006) modelled the potential future range of the Argentine ant. They found that it is most likely to occur where the mean daily temperature in mid-winter is 7-14°C and maximum daily temperatures during the hottest month average 19-30°C. Uninvaded regions considered vulnerable to future establishment include: southern China, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, central Madagascar, Morocco, high-elevation Ethiopia, Yemen and a number of oceanic islands.

Integrated management: The potential of invasive ants to reach high densities is greater in human-modified ecosystems; particularly in land intensely utilised for primary production. For example, L. humile reaches high densities in agricultural systems, such as citrus orchards, that host Homopteran honey-dew producing insects (Armbrecht and Ulloa-Chacón 2003; Holway et al. 2002a). Improved land management, including a reduction in monoculture and an increase in the efficiency of primary production, may help prevent ant population explosions, alleviate the problems caused by high densities of ants and reduce sources of ant infestation.\r\n

Please follow this link for more detailed information on the management of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile compiled by the ISSG.

Management Category
Prevention
Eradication
Control
Bibliography
67 references found for Linepithema humile

Managment information
AntWeb, 2006. Linepithema humile
Summary: AntWeb illustrates ant diversity by providing information and high quality color images of many of the approximately 10,000 known species of ants. AntWeb currently focusses on the species of the Nearctic and Malagasy biogeographic regions, and the ant genera of the world. Over time, the site is expected to grow to describe every species of ant known. AntWeb provides the following tools: Search tools, Regional Lists, In-depth information, Ant Image comparision tool PDF field guides maps on AntWeb and Google Earth and Ant genera of the world slide show.
AntWeb is available from: http://antweb.org/about.jsp [Accessed 20 April 2006]
The species page is available from: http://antweb.org/getComparison.do?rank=species&genus=linepithema&name=humile&project=&project= [Accessed 2 May 2006]
Commonwealth of Australia. 2006a. Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Summary: This plan establishes a national framework to guide and coordinate Australia�s response to tramp ants, identifying the research, management, and other actions necessary to ensure the long term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by tramp ants. It identifies six national priority species as an initial, but flexible, list on which to focus attention. They are the red imported fi re ant (Solenopsis invicta), tropical fire ant (S. geminata), little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata), African big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala), yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), and Argentine ant (Linepithema humile).
Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/pubs/tramp-ants.pdf [Accessed 17 November 2009]
Commonwealth of Australia. 2006b. Background document for the threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Summary: This background document to the Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories provides supporting information on a range of issues such as tramp ant biology, population dynamics, spread, biodiversity impacts and management measures.
Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/pubs/tramp-ants-background.pdf [Accessed 17 November 2009]
Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2005. Draft Threat Abatement Plan for for Reduction in Impacts of Tramp Ants on Biodiversity in Australia and its Territories
Forschler, B. T. and Evans, G. M. 1994. Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) foraging activity response to selected containerized baits. J. Entomol. Sci. 29(2): 209-214.
Summary: Found that baits formulated with hydramethylnon or sulfluramid were effective in eliminating foraging ants in an urban setting.
Green, C. 2005. Argentine ant update, Dawn Chorus 60: 8. Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi.
Haney, P. 1984. A different approach to the Argentine ant problem. Citrograph 69(6): 140-146.
Summary: Provides a brief review of historical chemical approaches to Argentine ant control in agriculture, and presents results for liquid Diazinon and Lorsban spray treatments of citrus trees.
Harris, R.; Abbott, K.; Barton, K.; Berry, J.; Don, W.; Gunawardana, D.; Lester, P.; Rees, J.; Stanley, M.; Sutherland, A.; Toft, R. 2005: Invasive ant pest risk assessment project for Biosecurity New Zealand. Series of unpublished Landcare Research contract reports to Biosecurity New Zealand. BAH/35/2004-1.
Summary: The invasive ant risk assessment project, prepared for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research, synthesises information on the ant species that occur in New Zealand (native and introduced species), and on invasive ants that pose a potential threat to New Zealand.
There is a great deal of information in this risk assessment on invasive ant species that is of global interest, including; biology, distribution, pest status, control technologies.
The assessment project has five sections.1) The Ants of New Zealand: information sheets on all native and introduced ants established in New Zealand 2) Preliminary invasive ant risk assessment: risk scorecard to quantify the threat to New Zealand of 75 ant species. 3) Information sheets on invasive ant threats: information sheets on all ant species scored as medium to high risk (n = 39). 4) Pest risk assessment: A detailed pest risk assessment for the eight species ranked as having the highest potential risk to New Zealand (Anoplolepis gracilipes, Lasius neglectus, Monomorium destructor, Paratrechina longicornis, Solenopsis geminata, Solenopsis richteri, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Wasmannia auropunctata) 5) Ranking of high risk species: ranking of the eight highest risk ant species in terms of the risks of entry, establishment, spread, and detrimental consequences.
NB. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is considered to be the worst ant pest in the world. However, Solenopsis invicta was specifically excluded from consideration in this risk assessment as this species has already been subject to detailed consideration by Biosecurity New Zealand
(This invasive ant pest risk assessment was funded by Biosecurity New Zealand and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Undertaken by Landcare Research in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington and Otago Museum)
Available from: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/Ants/ant_pest_risk.asp [Accessed 20 May 2007]
Harris, R.J., 2001. Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and other adventive ants in New Zealand. DOC Internal Series 7
Summary: Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/DSIS7.pdf [Accessed 20 May 2007]
Harris, R. J. 2002. Potential impact of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in New Zealand and options for its control. Science for Conservation 196. 36 pp.
Summary: Available from: http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/SFC196.pdf [Accessed 20 May 2007]
Hartley, Stephen, Harris, Richard & Lester, Philip J., 2006. Quantifying uncertainty in the potential distribution of an invasive species: climate and the Argentine ant. Ecology Letters 9 (9), 1068-1079.
Holway, D.A., Lach, L., Suarez, A.V., Tsutsui, N.D. and Case, T.J. 2002a. The Causes and Consequences of Ant Invasions, Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 33: 181-233.
Hooper-Bui, L. and Rust, M. K. 2000. Oral toxicity of abamectin, boric acid, fipronil, and hydramethylnon to laboratory colonies of Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Economic Entomology 93(3): 858-864.
Summary: Conducted laboratory tests of the effectiveness of four toxicants against the Argentine ant.
Hooper, L. M. 1995. The biology of the Southern Fire Ant, Solenopsis xyloni (McCook) and its predation of the California Least Tern, Sterna antillarum browni (Mearns). MSc Thesis, University of California Riverside.
Summary: Masters thesis dealing primarily with Solenopsis xyloni, but also makes some references to Linepithema humile.
Krushelnycky, P. D. and Joe, S. M. 1997. Harmful Non-Indigenous Species report on Argentine ant. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk website.
Summary: Provides a brief review of Argentine ant control efforts, particularly work at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii prior to 1997.
Krushelnycky, P. D. and Reimer, N. J. 1998. Bait preference by the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii. Environmental Entomology 27: 1482-1487.
Summary: A year-long study determining the seasonal preferences of baits that could potentially be used in control efforts.
Krushelnycky, P. D. and Reimer, N. J. 1998. Efficacy of Maxforce bait for control of the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii. Environmental Entomology 27: 1473-1481.
Summary: An initial attempt to eradicate Argentine ants from test plots in Haleakala National Park, using standard Maxforce bait as well as new bait varieties formulated with hydramethylnon. Was unsuccessful in achieving eradication.
Krushelnycky, P.D., Loope, L.L. and Joe, S.M. 2004. Limiting spread of a unicolonial invasive insect and characterization of seasonal patterns of range expansion, Biological Invasions 6: 47�57.
McGlynn, T.P. 1999. The Worldwide Transfer of Ants: Geographical Distribution and Ecological Invasions, Journal of Biogeography 26(3): 535-548.
Ness, J. H and Bronstein, J. L. 2004. The Effects of Invasive Ants on Prospective ant Mutualists, Biological Invasions 6: 445-461.
O�Dowd, D.J., Green, P.T. and Lake, P.S. 1999. Status, Impact, and Recommendations for Research and Management of Exotic Invasive Ants in Christmas Island National Park. Centre for the Analysis and Management of Biological Invasions: Clayton (Victoria, Australia).
Pacific Ant Prevention Programme, March 2004. Pacific Invasive Ant Group (PIAG) on behalf of the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).
Summary: A proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting For Plant Protection. This plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental and/or social impacts, entering and establishing in or spreading between (or within) countries of the Pacific Region.
Sarnat, E. M. (December 4, 2008) PIAkey: Identification guide to ants of the Pacific Islands, Edition 2.0, Lucid v. 3.4. USDA/APHIS/PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology and University of California � Davis.
Summary: PIAkey (Pacific Invasive Ant key) is an electronic guide designed to assist users identify invasive ant species commonly encountered in the Pacific Island region. The guide covers four subfamilies, 20 genera and 44 species.
The primary tool offered by PIAkey is an interactive key designed using Lucid3 software. In addition to being fully illustrated, the Lucid key allows users to enter at multiple character points, skip unknown characters, and find the most efficient path for identifying the available taxa. Each species is linked to its own web page. These species pages, or factsheets, are linked to an illustrated glossary of morphological terms, and include the following seven sections: 1) Overview of the species; 2) Diagnostic chart illustrating a unique combination of identification characters; 3) Comparison chart illustrating differences among species of similar appearance; 4) Video clip of the species behavior at food baits (where available); 5) Image gallery that includes original specimen images and live images (where available); 6) Nomenclature section detailing the taxonomic history of the species, and 7) Links and references section for additional literature and online resources.
Available from: http://www.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/PIAkey/index.html [Accessed 17 December 2008]
Stanley, M. C. 2004. Review of the efficacy of baits used for ant control and eradication. Landcare Research Contract Report: LC0405/044. Prepared for: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Summary: Available from: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/ants/BaitEfficacyReport.pdf [Accessed 10 December 2005]
Tasman District Council (TDC) & Biosecurity New Zealand Summary of proceedings: New Zealand Invasive Ant Workshop: Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile) & Darwin Ant (Doleromyrma darwiniana) 29th April 2005
Summary: Available from: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biosecurity/stowaways/Ants/documents/NZInvasiveantworkshopApril2005.pdf [Accessed 25th March 2006]
Tsutsui, N.D. and Suarez, A.V. 2003. The Colony Structure and Population Biology of Invasive Ants, Conservation Biology 17(1): 48-58.
van Schagen, J. J., Davis, P. R. and Widner, M. A. 1994. Ant pests of Western Australia, with particular reference to the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). In Williams, D. F. (ed.) Exotic Ants: Biology, Impact and Control of Introduced Species: 174-180.
Summary: Reports on effort to eradicate the Argentine ant in Western Australia.
Varnham, K. 2006. Non-native species in UK Overseas Territories: a review. JNCC Report 372. Peterborough: United Kingdom.
Summary: This database compiles information on alien species from British Overseas Territories.
Available from: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3660 [Accessed 10 November 2009]
Walker, K. 2006. Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) Pest and Diseases Image Library. Updated on 29/08/2006 12:06:40 PM.
Summary: PaDIL (Pests and Diseases Image Library) is a Commonwealth Government initiative, developed and built by Museum Victoria s Online Publishing Team, with support provided by DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) and PHA (Plant Health Australia), a non-profit public company. Project partners also include Museum Victoria, the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and the Queensland University of Technology. The aim of the project is: 1) Production of high quality images showing primarily exotic targeted organisms of plant health concern to Australia. 2) Assist with plant health diagnostics in all areas, from initial to high level. 3) Capacity building for diagnostics in plant health, including linkage developments between training and research organisations. 4) Create and use educational tools for training undergraduates/postgraduates. 5) Engender public awareness about plant health concerns in Australia. PaDIL is available from : http://www.padil.gov.au/aboutOverview.aspx, this page is available from: http://www.padil.gov.au/viewPestDiagnosticImages.aspx?id=615 [Accessed 6 October 2006]
General information
Benois, A. 1973. Incidence des facteurs ecologiques sur le cycle annuel et l activite saisonniere de la fourmi d Argentine, Iridomyrmex humilis Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), dans la region d Antibes. Insectes Sociaux, 20: 267-296.
Bond, W. and Slingsby, P. 1984. Collapse of an ant-plant mutualism: the Argentine ant (Iridomyrmex humilis) and myrmecochorous proteaceae. Ecology 65(4): 1031-1037.
Summary: Found that the exclusion of native ants by Argentine ants led to decreased rates of seed dispersal in plants adapted to ant-mediated seed dispersal.
Cammell, M. E., Way, M. J. and Paiva, M. R. 1996. Diversity and structure of ant communities associated with oak, pine, eucalyptus and arable habitats in Portugal. Insectes Sociaux, 43: 37-46.
Carney, S.E., Byerley, M.B. and Holway, D.A. 2003. Invasive Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) do not replace native ants as seed dispersers of Dendromecon rigida (Papaveraceae) in California, USA, Oecologia 135: 576�582.
Carpintero, S., Reyes-L�pez, J. and Arias de Reyna, L. 2005. Impact of Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile) on an arboreal ant community in Do�ana National Park, Spain, Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 151-163.
Christian, C. E. 2001. Consequences of a biological invasion reveal the importance of mutualism for plant communities. Nature 413: 635-639.
Cole, F. R., Medeiros, A. C., Loope, L. L. and Zuehlke, W. W. 1992. Effects of the Argentine ant on arthropod fauna of Hawaiian high-elevation shrubland. Ecology 73(4): 1313-1322.
Summary: Found that the Argentine ant significantly reduces the abundances of a number of endemic and introduced arthropods
CONABIO. 2008. Sistema de informaci�n sobre especies invasoras en M�xico. Especies invasoras - Insectos. Comisi�n Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. Fecha de acceso.
Summary: English:
The species list sheet for the Mexican information system on invasive species currently provides information related to Scientific names, family, group and common names, as well as habitat, status of invasion in Mexico, pathways of introduction and links to other specialised websites. Some of the higher risk species already have a direct link to the alert page. It is important to notice that these lists are constantly being updated, please refer to the main page (http://www.conabio.gob.mx/invasoras/index.php/Portada), under the section Novedades for information on updates.
Invasive species - insects is available from: http://www.conabio.gob.mx/invasoras/index.php/Especies_invasoras_-_Insectos [Accessed 30 July 2008]
Spanish:
La lista de especies del Sistema de informaci�n sobre especies invasoras de m�xico cuenta actualmente con informaci�n aceca de nombre cient�fico, familia, grupo y nombre com�n, as� como h�bitat, estado de la invasi�n en M�xico, rutas de introducci�n y ligas a otros sitios especializados. Algunas de las especies de mayor riesgo ya tienen una liga directa a la p�gina de alertas. Es importante resaltar que estas listas se encuentran en constante proceso de actualizaci�n, por favor consulte la portada (http://www.conabio.gob.mx/invasoras/index.php/Portada), en la secci�n novedades, para conocer los cambios.
Especies invasoras - Insectos is available from: http://www.conabio.gob.mx/invasoras/index.php/Especies_invasoras_-_Insectos [Accessed 30 July 2008]
Earlham College. 2002. Introduced Species in Hawaii (Senior Seminar 2002)
Summary: Available from: http://www.earlham.edu/~biol/hawaii/ants.htm [Accessed April 10 2006]
Fluker, S. S. 1969. Sympatric associations among selected ant species and some effects of ants on sugarcane mealybugs in Hawaii. Ph.D. thesis, University of Hawaii, 96 pp.
Fluker, S. S. and Beardsley, J. W. 1970. Sympatric associations of three ants: Iridomyrmex humilis, Pheidole megacephala, and Anoplolepis longipes in Hawaii. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 63: 1290-96.
Holway, D. A. 1995. Distribution of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in northern California. Conservation Biology 9: 1634-1637.
Holway, D. A. 1998. Effect of Argentine ant invasions on ground-dwelling arthropods in northern California riparian woodlands. Oecologia 116: 252-258.
Holway, D. A., L. Lach, A. V. Suarez, N. D. Tsutsui, and T. J. Case. 2002. The ecological causes and consequences of ant invasions. Annual review of ecology and systematics 33:181-233.
Summary: A comprehensive review about invasive ants in general.
Human, K. G. and Gordon, D. M. 1996. Exploitation and interference competition between the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, and native ant species. Oecologia 105: 405-412.
Human, K. G. and Gordon, D. M. 1997. Effects of Argentine ants on invertebrate biodiversity in northern California. Conservation Biology 11(5): 1242-1248.
Summary: Using pitfall traps, found that Argentine ants displace nearly all native ants and many non-ant arthropods, and cause a shift in arthropod trophic structure.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2005. Online Database Linepithema humile
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.cbif.gc.ca/pls/itisca/taxastep?king=every&p_action=containing&taxa=Linepithema+humile&p_format=&p_ifx=plglt&p_lang= [Accessed March 2005]
Keller, L., Passera, L. and Suzzoni, J. 1989. Queen execution in the Argentine ant, Iridomyrmex humilis. Physiological Entomology 14: 157-163.
Summary: Lab and field work demonstrated that about 90% of mated queens were killed by the workers at the beginning of the reproductive season.
Krushelnycky, P. D., Hodges, C. S. N., Medeiros, A. C. and Loope, L. L. 2001. Interaction between the Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel and the Argentine ant in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii. Studies in Avian Biology 22: 243-246.
Summary: Found that Argentine ants do not reduce nesting success of Hawaiian Dark-rumped petrel in Haleakala National Park, most likely because the deep, shaded burrows constructed by the petrels are cold and may discourage heavy ant foraging.
Lieberburg, I., Kranz, P. M. and Seip, A. 1975. Bermudian ants revisited: the status and interaction of Pheidole megacephala and Iridomyrmex humilis. Ecology 56: 473�478.
Majer, J. D. 1994. Spread of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), with special reference to Western Australia. In Williams D. F. (ed.) Exotic ants: Biology, impact and control of introduced species: 163-173.
Summary: Provides information on distribution of Argentine ants in Western Australia, and potential abiotic requirements.
Markin, G. P. 1968. Nest relationship of the Argentine ant, Iridomyrmex humilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 41(4): 511-516.
Markin, G. P. 1970. The seasonal life cycle of the Argentine ant, Iridomyrmex humilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in southern California. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 63(5): 1238-1243.
Monash University, March 2005. Argentine ant researcher recognised for her work. Newsline
Summary: Available from: http://www.monash.edu.au/news/newsline/story/336 [Accessed 25 April 2006]
Rizo, J. L. F. 1995. Reflexiones sobre las hormigas vagabundas de Cuba. Cocuyo 3: 11-22.
Robertson, H. G. Argentine ant bibliography.
Summary: A great summary bibliography of Argentine ant research sorted by topic, found on the South African Museum webpage.
Suarez, A. V., Bolger, D. T. and Case, T. J. 1998. Effects of fragmentation and invasion on native ant communities in coastal southern California. Ecology 79(6): 2041-2056.
Suarez, A. V., Holway, D. A. and Case, T. J. 2001. Patterns of spread in biological invasions dominated by long-distance jump dispersal: Insights from Argentine ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98(3): 1095-1100.
Summary: A useful resource reviewing and summarizing Argentine ant colonizations worldwide, as well as a finer scale analysis of spread throughout the U.S. and local expansion rates.
Suarez, A. V., Richmond, J. Q. and Case, T. J. 2000. Prey selection in horned lizards following the invasion of Argentine ants in southern California. Ecological Applications 10(3): 711-725.
Summary: Found that exclusion of native ants by Argentine ants led to a diet shift in coastal horned lizards, and densities of juvenile lizards were low in Argentine ant invaded areas.
Tsutsui, N. D. and T. J. Case. 2001. Population genetics and colony structure of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in its native and introduced ranges. Evolution 55:976-985.
Summary: The social structure and genetics of Argentine ants in their native and introduced ranges.
Tsutsui, N. D., A. V. Suarez, D. A. Holway and T. J. Case. 2000. Reduced genetic variation and the success of an invasive species. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, USA 97:5948-5953.
Summary: The social structure and genetics of Argentine ants in their native and introduced ranges.
Tsutsui, N. D., A. V. Suarez, D. A. Holway, and T. J. Case. 2001. Relationships among native and introduced populations of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile and the source of introduced populations. Molecular ecology 10:2151-2161.
Summary: Using genetic tools to identify the source of invasive Argentine ant populations.
Visser, D., Wright, M. G. and Giliomee, J. H. 1996. The effect of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), on flower-visiting insects of Protea nitida Mill. (Proteaceae). African Entomology 4(2): 285-287.
Ward, P. S. 1987. Distribution of the introduced Argentine ant (Iridomyrmex humilis) in natural habitats of the Lower Sacramento Valley and its effects on the indigenous ant fauna. Hilgardia 55(2): 1-16.
Wilson, E. O. 1951. Variation and adaptation in the imported fire ant. Evolution 5: 68-79.
Contact
The following 21 contacts offer information an advice on Linepithema humile
Davis,
Peter
Linepithema humile, Technomyrmex albipes, Ochetellus glaber, Monomorium destructor, Pheidole megacephala, Solenopsis invicta, Australia
Organization:
Western Australia Department of Agriculture
Address:
Entomology, Department of Agriculture, 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 6151
Phone:
+61 8 93683232
Fax:
+61 8 94742405
Gordon,
Deborah M.
Linepithema humile, USA: California
Organization:
Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University
Address:
Dept of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020 USA
Phone:
Fax:
Green,
Chris
Linepithema humile, New Zealand
Organization:
Department of Conservation
Address:
Auckland Conservancy, Private Bag 68-908, Newton, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Phone:
+64 9 3079279
Fax:
+64 9 3772919
Haines,
Will
Linepithema humile, USA: Hawaii
Organization:
USGS-BRD
Address:
Haleakala Field Station, PO Box 369, Makawao, HI 96768 USA
Phone:
+1 808 5724472
Fax:
+1 808 5721304
Harris,
Richard
Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps) spp. - ecology and control in New Zealand
Organization:
Landcare Research, NZ
Address:
Private Bag 6, Nelson, New Zealand
Phone:
+64 3 5481082
Fax:
+64 3 5468590
Heller,
Nicole
Linepithema humile, USA: California
Organization:
Stanford University
Address:
Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
Phone:
Fax:
Holway,
David
Linepithema humile, North and South America
Organization:
University of California at San Diego
Address:
Department of Biology 0116, 9500 Gilman Drive, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116
Phone:
Fax:
Ingram,
Krista K.
Linepithema humile, Pheidole megacephala, USA: Hawaii, California; Northwest Argentina; Southeast Brazil; Chile (Isla Juan Fernandez, Robinson Crusoe Islands)
Organization:
Stanford University
Address:
371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 USA
Phone:
+1 650 725 6791
Fax:
+1 650 723 6132
Keller,
Laurent
Linepithema humile, Solenopsis invicta, Formica exsecta,
Organization:
University of Lausanne
Address:
University of Lausanne, Institute of Ecology, Batiment de Biologie, 1015 Lausanne SWITZERLAND
Phone:
+41 21 6924173
Fax:
+41 21 6924105
Krushelnycky,
Paul
Linepithema humile, USA: Hawaii
Organization:
University of California at Berkeley
Address:
University of California, Division of Insect Biology, 201 Wellman Hall #3112, Berkeley, CA 94720-3112 USA
Phone:
Fax:
Lach,
Lori
Linepithema humile (South Africa and Hawaii), Anoplolepis gracilipes and Pheidole megacephala(Hawaii)
Organization:
Cornell University
Address:
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Corson Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA
Phone:
+1 607 2544239
Fax:
+1 607 2558088
McGlynn,
Terrence
Wasmannia auropunctata, Linepithema humile, Solenopsis invicta, and invasive ants in general, USA, Costa Rica
Organization:
University of San Diego, Department of Biology
Address:
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110 USA
Phone:
+1 619 2607539
Fax:
+1 619 2606804
Oboyski,
Peter
Linepithema humile and other ants in Hawaii
Organization:
University of California at Berkeley
Address:
University of California, Division of Insect Biology, 201 Wellman Hall #3112, Berkeley, CA 94720-3112 USA
Phone:
Fax:
O Connor,
Simon
Simon has previously coordinated New Zealand s national invasive ant programme which included responding to incursions and development and implementation of the surveillance programme. He is currently employed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to implement the preliminary stages of the Pacific Ant Prevention Programme. Extensive surveillance through the Pacific islands, project work around specific ant problems and public awareness building has been the main focus of his current role
Organization:
Coordinator, Pacific Ant Prevention Programme Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Address:
C/- MAF PO Box 2526 Wellington New Zealand
Phone:
64 4 8190539
Fax:
64 4 8190736
Reimer,
Neil
Formicidae in Hawaii, USA: Hawaii
Organization:
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Address:
701 Ilalo St., Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone:
+1 808 5860844
Fax:
Sanders,
Nathan
Linepithema humile, Aphaenogaster, Myrmecocystus, USA
Organization:
Humboldt State University
Address:
Department of Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521 USA
Phone:
+1 707 8263229
Fax:
Suarez,
Andrew
Linepithema humile, USA: California, Argentina
Organization:
University of California at Berkeley
Address:
University of California, Division of Insect Biology, 201 Wellman Hall #3112, Berkeley, CA 94720-3112 USA
Phone:
Fax:
Suhr,
Elissa
Organization:
Postgraduate student - Invasive ants
Address:
School of Biological Sciences Monash University Clayton 3800 Victoria, Australia
Phone:
Fax:
Tsutsui,
Neil
Linepithema humile, Cnemidophorus tigris, Solenosteira macrospira, North and South America. Webpage
Organization:
University of California, Irvine
Address:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California - Irvine, 321 Steinhaus Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-2525 USA
Phone:
+1 949 824-7525
Fax:
VanGelder,
Ellen
Linepithema humile, Solenopsis invicta, USA: Hawaii
Organization:
USGS-BRD
Address:
Haleakala Field Station, PO Box 369, Makawao, HI 96768 USA
Phone:
+1 808 5724472
Fax:
Ward,
Philip S.
all Formicidae for California and Baja California only; Pseudomyrmex, Tetraponera, Leptomyrmex, Rhytidoponera, Interested in Formicidae globally
Organization:
University of California, Davis
Address:
Department of Entomology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 USA
Phone:
Fax: