Invasion Biology

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


It was on the 4th December 2006 when I read about the fire ants (Wasmannia auropunctata). I read the article from the "Daily Sun" newspaper and the article was talking about the dangerous of the fire ants. According to the daily sun, there are over 280 species of fire ants species on the world (1). The fire ants are reddish brown to black in colour. The length of fire ants ranges from 1millimetres and above. Fire ants are native at southern and central part of America and they are invaded in west of Africa (Gabon, Cameroon). According to the article, South African not yet invaded by Wasmannia auropunctata (2).

Fire ants prefer to dwell in disturbed areas (garden) and in riparian zones. They are also prefers to live in large colonies. Fire ants also produce mound in the open areas. Fire ants (Wasmannia auropunctata) are very dangerous insects for human and other species. Fire ants attack small animals and kill them by injecting venom (poison). Wasmannia auropunctata feeds on seeds, plants, and crickets.

Fire ants can bite and inject venomous sting into eyes of other species and it will cause blindness. The article also informs the people stay away from fire ants and not tough the nest of the ants because they can spray a powerful acid when it stings that will cause wound. Fire ants can cause declines in other organisms. They also compete with indigenous ants within the affected area.


1. Sun Reporter. 2006 December 4. Daily sun. page 38 ( col 2)

2. Wetterer J. k. Wasmannia auropunctata. Global Invasive Species Database. [Online]. 2006 June 20.[Cited 2006 January 24]. Accessed on:

Lizzy Maluleke



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  • Hi Lizzy!

    Interesting little post. Some questions...

    You note how dangerous fire ants are, to us and to small animals. Do they have natural predators?

    What are some of the measures that have been implemented to try to control the spread of fire ants? Hoe successful have they been?

    By Blogger NcK, at January 24, 2007 6:09 PM  

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