Crazy Raspberry ant

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The Raspberry ant is a colloquial name for a newly encountered species of ant that is posing a significant pest problem in Houston Texas.[1][2] The ant does not yet have an agreed upon scientific name, so it is generally called the "Raspberry ant" or "crazy Raspberry ant", because it was first described by Tom Rasberry, a Houston area pest exterminator, who first encountered it in 2002. The ant resembles a species of ant that is a pest in the Caribean, called the Paratrechina pubens, and is sometimes called "Paratrechina species near pubens".[1][2] This other species of ant is colloquially known as the "Caribbean crazy ant", because of an outwardly disorganized style of foraging.

Characterstics

The ant is omnivorous, harvesting "honeydew" from sap-sucking insects like aphids that secrete excess sugar.[1][2] It also consumes prey, including other insects and small animals.

The new species of ant reproduces quickly, and its colonies grow quickly.[1][2]

The ants live in large colonies, or "supercolonies, with multiple queens.[1][2] While juvenile queens have wings they have not been observed venturing on nuptial flights.

The ants have an "acidpore on their abdomen, where other ants might have a stinger.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ralph Blumenthal. A Pest Without a Name, Becoming Known to Ever More, New York Times, May 16, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Exotic Texas Ant, Paratrechina sp. near pubens, Center for Urban & Structural Entomology, Texas A&M University, Department of Entomology. Retrieved on 2008-05-17.