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Number of known invasive ants doubles in recent study

Photography by Alex Wild. K.L. Wong et al., 2023.

A February study from Evan P. Oconomo, Benoit Guenard (who are associated with the beloved, and Mark K.L. Wong detailed the number of known species which had been transported to non native ranges by humans. The authors note that many alien species are not cultivated nor traded, but spread unintentionally.

They found that certain ants were more likely to naturalize (to establish, harmfully or harmlessly) in an alien environment. Arboreal ants were less likely to naturalize, while small, hard to detect soil and leaf litter nesting species were more likely to naturalize. More invasive ant species come from the Neotropical and Oriental regions than anywhere else.

The findings more than double the number of known invasive ants (252 in 2021), coming to at least 520 alien species. See the study, featuring multiple figures here.


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