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The Crazy Yellow Ant: Anoplolepis gracilipes

The Crazy Yellow Ant:
Anoplolepis gracilipes
By: Fabio Cupul / Guadalajara University

One of the most common ants can be found in our homes, mainly in the kitchen and garden. Although he has made the region of Bahia de Banderas home, is a species native to Asia or Africa. Currently has invaded much of the world’s tropical regions.

Its common name refers to the pale color of its body (the abdomen is a bit darker than the head and thorax) and rapid and nervous walking. It is an ant reaches 5 mm size and has long slender legs and antennae. Formicid is a forage that is, made long journeys in search of organic materials for food. This behavior has done to compete with native species, which can be displaced or even removed from an ecosystem.

It also has the ability to shepherd and care for other insects such as aphids and scale insects, to get them sugary fluids to supplement their diet. Unfortunately, the care they provide to these insects that suck sap from plants, makes these disproportionate increase in their numbers, causing dry plants and deforest large chunks of forest (deleted or indirectly affecting other species of animals or plants depend on the forest to survive) or end with ornamental plants of houses, parks and gardens.

They also attack and prey on small insects, snails, spiders, centipedes, among others. The ease with which colonizes and destroys environments with their activities, has led the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers in its list of 100 most harmful invasive species in the world. Although not bite or sting for not having itchy, produce formic acid and expels it through an opening in the tip of the abdomen (acidóporo). This acid is used to repel potential attackers. In humans, it can cause burning and irritation upon contact with eyes.

The mounds are home an average of four thousand people, but if certain conditions can generate supercolonies calls, which have approximately 20 million individuals per hectare.