Monday, November 08, 2010

4. Crazy Rasberry Ants ( Nylanderia sp. )

I've heard of these before. And I also remember them being mentioned in a documentary years ago I think on the internet. It was fascinating.

Any way let's get on with it. My ramblings will come after.

The crazy Rasberry ant or Rasberry crazy ant is an invasive species of ant found near Houston Texas.

While this species is part of the crazy ant complex (group named because of the ants' random, nonlinear movements) the media and others in Texas are also calling it "Rasberry" after the exterminator Tom Rasberry who first noticed the ants were a problem in 2002.

This ant has yet to be identified as a species due to confusion regarding the taxonomy of the genus, and has for now been scientifically named Nylanderia species near pubens.

There is currently a large infestation in at least 11 counties in Texas. The ants appear to prefer the warmth and moistness of the coast.

This ant may or may not be the same ant as the Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia pubens (Florel ). I have something to say on the last part. Find Nylanderia pubens and put a bunch on electrical equipment and see if they munch it up. I briefly did some research to see if other ( namely N. pubens ) did the same thing and so far no mention of it.

Suspicious ( atm ) no? I'll keep searching later. But here's why they're on this list in the first place as quoted by the lovely article on AOL.

Happy Happy Joy Joy ( for me cause I enjoy reading things like this ):
What they threaten: Every business in parts of Texas, mostly in Houston. Reportedly seen in southern Arkansas.

Modus operandi:
Crazy rasberry ants are named for exterminator Tom Rasberry, who first identified the critters in Houston in 2002. These ants bite humans and are oddly attracted to electrical equipment -- they enjoy nesting in it and chewing it up. In fact, the NASA Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake City, Texas, had some crazy rasberry ant sightings and brought in Rasberry to exterminate them.

After exterminations, "I've seen them in piles of two to three inches," says Ron Harrison, technical director for Orkin, the national pest control chain. Harrison says the businesses that seem to be the most in danger of infestation are manufacturing firms that have warehouses and storage areas among trees.

Fun fact:
They're called "crazy" because the ants don't move in a straight line -- they move all over in a lot of different, zigzag directions. - AOL Small Business

Not only that but they're also on the list of ants that break the "typical ant life cycle". Why? Because these ants have multiple queens.

Yup. They have lots of mommies. Awwwww.....But that makes them a bitch to try and get rid of ( obviously ). I'd go on to imagine that other Nylanderia species have multiple queens too.

Must do research on that and get back to you. Crazy huh?

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