You’ve Got Ants: New 10-Minute Test Kit Detects Red Imported Fire Ants

red imported fire ant

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an invasive species from South America that is damaging to agriculture and wildlife and known for its painful, venomous sting. That venom, however, is now a promising tool for entomological researchers in fighting back against S. invicta and limiting its spread. Throughout the southeastern United States, shipments […]

Compounds from Poison Frogs May be Used to Control Fire Ants

fire-ants

USDA scientists and their collaborators have found that naturally-occurring compounds that are found on the skin of certain poison frogs can incapacitate and kill fire ants. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) damages crops, devastates small animal populations, and inflicts painful stings to livestock and to humans. To determine whether poison-frog alkaloids would kill […]

CT Scanning Shows how Fire Ants Interlock to Form Floating Rafts

fire-ants2

When water levels rise, red fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) stream from their nests and rapidly grip onto their nearest neighbors in order to form rafts to carry them to safety. Each individual ant is denser than water and is in danger of sinking. However, the ants somehow manage to stay afloat, and they don’t just […]