One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small South American ant that has become established in parts of Europe and Africa.
Iridomyrmex humilis, family Formicidae
- ‘To see how Argentine ants fared when invading Europe, Keller and his colleagues collected ants from 33 spots along the coast from northern Italy to northwestern Spain.’
- ‘The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, exhibits well-developed nestmate discrimination that functions to maintain distinct colony boundaries in its native South American range.’
- ‘Previous studies indicate that extreme unicoloniality may have arisen in introduced populations of Argentine ants after the loss of genetic diversity during introduction.’
- ‘In their native home of South America, Argentine ants are genetically diverse, and their colonies seldom exceed the size of a football field because of turf squabbles, Tsutsui says.’
- ‘‘We would expect the set of problems we see with Argentine ants in South Africa to occur in other habitats invaded by small ants,’ he said.’
- ‘And farmers routinely see aphids and scale insects - which the Argentine ants protect from parasites in exchange for the insects' sweet secretions - ravage their crops.’
- ‘Unlike fire ants, which are known for their aggressive behaviour towards humans, the Argentine ant looks just like the average household ant.’
- ‘Suhr said the Argentine ants killed native ants and the insect life they normally preyed upon, posing a major threat to biodiversity.’
- ‘Sanders attributes the Argentine ants ' success primarily to its superior foraging and piracy of other ants' food finds.’
- ‘A previous study suggested that male and female sexuals of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile (previously Iridomyrmex humilis) may use genetic cues to avoid inbreeding.’
- ‘The Argentine ant, which is now the most common ant in many urban areas of this country, was first noticed in 1891, in Louisiana.’
- ‘At the base of another oak, everyone is on hands and knees, mesmerized as an Argentine ant struggles with a dead beetle, while two more push, pull, and roll a torn-off white spider abdomen down a hole.’
- ‘Instead of sending out reproductives to a mating flight as most ants do, the Argentine ants reproduce by budding.’
- ‘The Argentine ants were accidentally introduced to Europe around 1920, probably in ships carrying plants, Keller said in an interview via electronic mail.’
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