Argentine Ant
( Linepithema humile )


2010-0215-EB070001-HYM00148-Linepithema_humile[1344h18s,F,A,prey]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT
Experts believe that this ant is so successful because all individuals originated from the same colony introduced to New Orleans. So, there is no inter-colonial aggression or competition. Colonies have multiple queens, reproduce in great numbers, nest in diverse habitats, and eat a wide variety of foods.

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Linepithema humile
(Mayr ,1868 )
Common Name:Argentine Ant
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Hymenoptera
Suborder:Apocrita
Family:Formicidae
Subfamily:Dolichoderinae
Tribe:Leptomyrmecini
Genus:Linepithema
Taxon Code:HYM00148
ITIS/TSN:575041

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Briones Regional Park, Briones Regional Park, Briones Regional Park, Lafayette
County:Contra Costa County
ECI Site#:CAEB070000
Open Space Location:Briones Regional Park

RECOGNITION
Description
Workers are usually uniformly light to medium brown. The body is slender; the head ovular to triangular-shaped; mandible with two large apical teeth followed by series of denticles; alitrunk dorsum normally lacking erect hairs; petiole erect. This is the most common ant in either households or agriculture.
Body Length
Workers: 2.2-2.6 mm.
Colors
Color1: light to medium brown

BIOLOGY
Food
Omnivorous. Especially fond of sweets, but will eat anything.
Nesting Preferences
Makes nests in soil, rotten wood, standing dead trees, refuse piles, bird nests, bee hives, under pots or stepping stones, and many other places - sheltered or exposed. Ants will move colonies when food or water is scarce.
Importance
This ant is the #1 pest in households and agriculture. It invades homes when weather outside is too cold, too wet or too dry, or when honeydew is washed from foliage by rains. In the summer of 2014, at one of the hottest and driest points of the California drought, these ants were reported to forage widely about households and to bite humans.
Range
Across the southern United States (from North Carolina to Florida, west through the gulf states to the coast of California. Regions with freezing temperatures and with little water limit its range. Native to Argentina and Brazil.
Active Period
Year round. Sometimes more notable indoors when colonies are stressed for water or food, or when weather is extreme.
Importance
This ant is the #1 pest in households and agriculture. It invades homes when weather outside is too cold, too wet or too dry, or when honeydew is washed from foliage by rains. In the summer of 2014, at one of the hottest and driest points of the California drought, these ants were reported to forage widely about households and to bite humans.
Development
Metamorphosis is complete. Colonies have multiple queens.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Linepithema humile - Argentine Ant. (Species Linepithema humile - Argentine Ant). Accessed March 12, 2016. .
ITIS.


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