Super ants are taking over Europe

The typical old native ants are an annoyance? Newer ones may be replacing them soon:

Super-Ant Taking Over Europe

An ant species that originated in the Black Sea region has invaded more than 100 areas across Europe and is moving north. Scientists say if it is not stopped, it will reach Northern Germany, Scandinavia and Britain and could invade the whole world. 

The pest, called Lasius neglectus, destroys native ant species as it invades new territory. It has also invaded much of Asia.

Ants thrive all over the world because they are very adaptive. Urban ants, for example, have adapted to the extreme heat of city living. Scientists estimate there are about 20,000 different species globally. The combined weight of ants in the Brazilian Amazon is thought to be four times greater than the combined mass of all of the mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians there.

For example, The non-native red fire ant causes about $750 million of damage in the United States every year, the authors of the new study point out. And the Argentine ant has spread along thousands of miles of coastline in southern Europe, exterminating the natural insect fauna. In California, the Argentine ant armieshave nearly wiped out all native ants.

L. neglectus resembles the common black garden ant, but its colonies involve up to 100 times more workers. It frequently settles in parks and gardens, the researchers say, and it quickly exterminates native ants.

So how do they spread across a continent? They infest potted plants, and humans carry them far and wide, the researchers said.

“The future will therefore see many more ants become invasive, so it is about time we understand their biology and this study is a major step in that direction,” said Jes S. Pedersen, who coordinates the invasive ant program in Copenhagen. (Source: Yahoo!)

We should feed them with cup cakes.

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