20 May Nylanderia fulva (Tawny crazy ant)
Nylanderia fulva (Tawny crazy ant)
The tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, has recently become one of the most notorious pests in southern US. One of the main goals of this project is to find the origin of invasive populations of the ant and to evaluate potential natural enemies to be used in biological control programs.
Nylanderia fulva recently invaded the US where it has become the dominant ant species in many ecosystems, displacing the native ants, as well as other invasive ants previously introduced such as the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Unfortunately, many control strategies typically used with other ants are not adequate for N. fulva.
In collaboration with scientists from Texas University A&M and the USDA, we are studying the biology of this ant, focusing on several lines of work: to determine the possible origin of the invasive populations in the US, to resolve the species status of N. fulva and find if it forms a species complex, possibly involving cryptic species, and to select genotypes of the decapitating phorid fly Pseudacteon convexicauda, a natural enemy found in Argentina, that is most suited to use in biological control of populations in the US.
Edward Vargo y Pierre-André Eyer, Universidad de Texas A & M
Viviana Confalonieri, GIFF, FCEN-UBA/CONICET
Christoph Bleidorn, Universidad de Göttingen.