Categories: World

The “electric ant”, a dangerous invasive species, detected for the first time in France

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It measures only 1.5 millimeters but represents a threat to biodiversity: the “electric ant”, an invasive species so nicknamed because of its painful sting, was detected for the first time on French metropolitan territory, revealed a researcher at the AFP.

It is in the south of France, in Toulon, that Wasmannia auropunctata, “electric ant” or “little fire ant”, native to South America, was spotted by an ant enthusiast, in a closed residence of sea ​​side.

extremely invasive

Until now, this species native to South America had only been observed once in Europe, in the region of Malaga in Spain. When Olivier Blight, researcher at the Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology at the University of Avignon formally identified it in Toulon, “we were already dealing with a super-colony, so we think it is there for more than a year “.

Probably introduced “during a transport of plants”, the ant has already been observed up to 100 meters from the residence. Wasmannia auropunctata is extremely invasive, even if it moves slowly, because it combines “a classic sexual reproduction system and the production of queens and males by cloning”, explains Olivier Blight.

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