Rasberry Crazy Ant

Rasberry Crazy Ant

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The Rasberry Crazy Ant (also known as the tawny crazy ant or Nylanderia fulva) is a highly invasive and destructive species of ant endemic to South America. The Rasberry Crazy Ant is approximately 0.125 in (3.2 mm) in length. They are covered with small, reddish-brown hairs. Unlike most species of ant, their colonies have multiple queens. They tend aphids for honeydew, as well as feeding on other small insects  and vertebrates.  They also will forage on plants, especially for sweet materials.

 

Rasberry Crazy Ant

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Rasberry Crazy Ant Competitiveness

The Rasberry Crazy Ant appears to displace other ant species. They multiply in such vast numbers.  This displacement of other species even includes red imported fire ants. Most likely this is due to exploitative and interference competition. In the United States, they are now considered to be an invasive species of insect. The heaviest infestation is in the state of Texas. Scientists have described the ants as having virtually overrun a portion of Texas since 2001. Since then, they appear to also have established colonies in all states of the Gulf Coast of the United States. Rasberry Crazy Ant colonies can be up to 100 times larger than those of native ant species.

 

Rasberry Crazy Ant

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Rasberry Crazy Ant Destructiveness

Rasberry Crazy Ant colonies, like many species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment. The reason for this is unclear. One suggestion is that they sense the magnetic fields that surround wires conducting electric current. Another theory is that they prefer the warmth produced by resistance to the currents in the wires. Some argue that they simply are searching for food or an attractive place to nest. Infestations of electrical equipment cause short circuits. This is often because the ants chew through insulation. Overheating, corrosion, and mechanical failures also result from accumulations of dead ants and nest detritus in electrical devices.

#ourbreathingplanet

Todd Sain Sr.

Related Articles:  Fire Ant, Argentine Ant

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