Invasive fire ants are firmly established in the southeastern United States, defending their territory with venomous stings. But a more recent invasive species, the tawny crazy ant, appears impervious to fire ants' toxic attacks, producing its own antidote to fire ant venom.
In Chemical Defense Aids "Crazy Ant" Invasion
, Science Bulletins looks at a study that pinpointed crazy ants' defensive strategy, which is furthering their domination over fire ants and native North American insects.
But crazy ants aren't invulnerable. According to a new study, the seemingly unstoppable invaders are susceptible to a new genus of fungal parasite, which appears to only affect crazy ants. Robert Plowes, the lead author on the study, says, "This is the first step towards developing a suite of biological control agents that will give us any chance of keeping ant numbers low in the long run."
Read more about the study here: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/chink-found-in-armor-of-invasive-crazy-antJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
: Myrmecomorba nylanderiae
gen. et sp. nov., a microsporidian parasite of the tawny crazy ant Nylanderia fulva