It has been reported that super ants are invading the UK at a brisk pace. This spells trouble.
Recently, there have been three new invasions of a species of super ant in the territory of the UK. These are basically garden ants. They build large colonies of many thousands of individual ants that work in tandem as social insects.
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The researchers are warning that their effect on biodiversity could be deleterious. This species of ant was first seen in 2009. Currently, half a dozen rampaging invasions of these ants have occurred at various spots.
Termed the Lasius neglectus, these ants thrive in greenhouses and ordinary gardens. Their likely origin is Asia. Most probably, these ants reached the UK via imported plants.
While these ants are not a danger for human beings, they do affect the other species. The ecosystems of the region will go topsy turvy thanks to these critters. Also naturalized species will be forced into oblivion.
Such invasive species cost the UK a total of 1.7 billion pounds annually. One of the issues is the destruction they wreak on the environment. Then there is the huge amount of cash needed for their containment.
There are many more sites which remain hidden. These super ants may have penetrated more areas than meet the eye. The rate of novel super ant invasions seems to be gaining ground in the UK.
This is a source of worry and frustration for the authorities who are left in a lurch as to what to do about these pesky ants. The UK’s bio-security is at risk and so steps need to be taken in order to manage the immensely difficult task of rooting out the invasive ants.
Although it is called a super ant, this species is smaller than the average ant in the UK. However, where it does differ is in the capacity it has to construct super colonies.
Many queens exist within the context of these colonies and the linked nests are spread out over huge distances. This characteristic allows this species of ant to compete successfully with the native species and supplant them with its own kind.
This alien species can have all the space and aphids it wants to itself leaving the native species high and dry. The ant is supposed to have come from Turkey.
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It has turned up in surprising numbers at various sites in the UK thereby causing alarm bells to ring among the authorities. This species will have to be thoroughly understood before it can be exterminated. That will of course take some time.