Invasive ants in Africa?- we don't know much
Palesa Natasha Mothapo, Theresa Wossler
Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Invasive ants are known globally for the devastating economic and ecosystem impacts they cause. They often displace native species with concomitant negative impacts on the environment; they also cause huge economic losses as agricutural and household pests. Information on the ecology and impact of these species largely comes from the developing world. In the USA, there are well developed programs for the monitoring and control of invasive ant species such as Fire ant, Solenopsis invicta and argentine ant, Linepithema humile. In addition, there are good records of native ant species in published reports and booklets such as "the ants of Chicago" or the "the ants of Ohio". In Africa, we know that human transport facilitates the movement of ant species, but we have idea about the magnitude, frequency of introduction, pathways or geography of the associated movements. There is a lot of trade between African countries, thus it is highly likely that ants are moving across borders along with goods. Here we give a short overview of invasive species within an African context, highlighting most abundant and well studied ant species as well as newly recorded invasive species, as well as predicting the potential areas they could spread.