Argentine Ant- Key Facts

Environmental DNA (eDNA) of Argentine Ant was successfully detected by researchers. It was detected in surface soil samples collected from Kobe Port Island and Kyoto’s Fushimi District.

What are the concerns?

  • Both the areas have faced huge destruction caused by this invasive species called Argentine Ant.
  • Invasive ant species causing severe damage across the world. So, its early detection and rapid elimination is essential to control their populations.
  • However, current pest control methods in inefficient. Methods includes direct detection techniques like visual observation, classification, capture, elimination, observation and evaluation which requires special knowledge, labour and time.

What researchers suggests?

Researchers suggests, issue of Argentine ant cannot be eradicated by focusing on one species. They found, eDNA analysis effective in providing a useful tool to observe and evaluate invasion, establishment and proliferation of these ant species.

Argentine ant

The ant is native to northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and southern Brazil. It is an invasive species, established across many Mediterranean climate areas. It has been introduced by humans to places like Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Easter Island, Hawaii, Europe and United States. Worker ants are 1.6–2.8 millimetres long. Thus, can squeeze through cracks and holes of 1 millimetre easily. This ant species is counted among 100 worst animal invaders of the world.

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