Bug Archives: Ant Eggs

New Species Found In New Guinea

Piotr Naskrecki hunts katydids with sound. The insects are masters at blending in with their environment, especially at night when they’re most active. So entomologists like Naskrecki, a researcher at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, trace the katydids through the darkness by their calls, using special equipment to translate the high-pitched chirping into sounds detectable by the human ear.

His work paid off: Naskrecki and David Rentz found at least 20 new species! This group, which is restricted to the forest’s canopy, is very difficult to collect, and thus virtually unstudied. This pink-eyed Caedicia probably feeds on flowers of the forest’s tall trees.

A beautiful member of the Litoria genimaculata group, this frog has extremely variable color patterns and distinct yellow spots in the groin. These colorful frogs were surprisingly difficult to spot during Conservation International’s September 2009 assessment, in the lush foliage along small rain forest streams in the Muller Range mountains where they live. Males were most frequently spotted when they uttered a very soft ticking sound to attract females in the vicinity.

Researchers found only two of this super-spiny new ant species, which represents an entirely new genus. The worker ants were found in the canopy of a fallen tree at mid-elevation (1600m); entomologist Andrea Lucky suspects that this group of ants live up high in trees. The ants that live in tree canopies are hard to reach, and therefore little studied. Because this species is unknown, and quite different from any other known genus of ants, Andrea and colleagues are currently using its DNA to determine the placement of this ant species among its closest relatives.
A new species of Anelosimus from the Nakanai Mountains of New Britain, one of four new species of this genus, previously not documented from New Guinea, was discovered in the two Rapid Assessment Program expeditions with Conservation International. The new species include both solitary and subsocial species that seem to have diversified within New Guinea.

 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/scitech/2010/10/06/new-species-new-guinea/#slide=1#ixzz21BFSQcEQ

Could There Be European Fire Ants In Massachusetts?

Well, there were European Fire Ants In Massachusetts, but we seem to be in the clear for now. But that does not mean it will stay that way. If you come in contact with them contact A1-Exterminators immediately!

European Fire Ants Emerge in Massachusetts

News that a pair of yards in a Cambridge, Mass., neighborhood was invaded by Myrmica rubra, or the European fire ant, serves as a reminder that this region is susceptible to this troublesome invader.

Brad Harbison | July 29, 2010 |
http://www.pctonline.com/European-fire-ant-Cambridge.aspx?List_id=31

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — When pest management professionals hear the words “invasive fire ant species” New England is generally not the area of the country from which they expect to hear these reports. But news that a pair of yards in a Cambridge, Mass., neighborhood was invaded by Myrmica rubra, or the European fire ant, serves as a reminder that this region is susceptible to this troublesome invader.

George Williams, general manager and staff entomologist for Environmental Health Services, Norwood, Mass., says Myrmica rubra have been in New England for more than 100 years, but the reports from Cambridge have refocused attention on this pest.
“Up until literally right now this ant was not a problem for homeowners. They are usually found in grassy, marshland areas,” Williams said. “In the case of (the Cambridge properties) the ants were spreading aggressively on the properties, in areas where children were playing, in the garden and under the deck.”
It’s believed the Myrmica rubra in Cambridge hitched a ride in hostas that a neighbor brought back from Maine. Williams and Harvard University Entomologist Gary Alpert, Ph.D, have been studying this recent outbreak. Alpert told WBZ that the area could experience what he calls a second wave that “is probably unique for Massachusetts.”
Alpert also told WBZ that once the females mate, they drop their wings and walk to a new nest, spreading from one yard to the next. “Think of it like a cancer. It doesn’t metastasize, it’s like one big tumor that just keeps spreading and spreading and spreading.”
There are several important behavioral differences between Myrmica rubra and the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) — which is the invasive fire ant species most prevalent throughout the U.S. For example, Solenopsis invicta will construct complex mounds, whereas Williams says there is “no rhyme or reason” for how Myrmica rubra will behave on a property.
 “Carpenter ants, for example, will forage along trails, while (Myrmica rubra) will be found everywhere throughout a property — in bushes, up in trees, under stones, in railroad ties, rock walls, open lawn areas, under patio blocks, etc. In instances with supercolonies it will appear as if ‘the ground is moving.’”
In terms of identification, Myrmica rubra is a two-noded ant thatisreddish-brown in color. In addition to having the ability to sting, another important distinguishing feature is Myrmica rubra’spropodeum (the first abdominal segment fused anteriorly to the thorax) has two spines pointing backwards, which is one of the main differences with other native ants (not of the genus Myrmica) in the northeastern U.S, according to the University of Florida Department of Entomology website.
Williams said baits show the greatest potential for controlling Myrmica rubra, however there are several challenges with baits. “We are not sure of the efficacy of commercially available brands as sugars are consumed by workers whereas proteins go to the queens.” Williams said that there are no current fire ant baits registered for use in Massachusetts. “Broadcasting granular baits would pose the easiest application method vs. liquids and gel formulations since the application area is expansive and placement baiting outdoors would be labor intensive,” he said. “I would expect the non-repellent liquid products to work well on this species, however this is not a low impact application as non-target and beneficial insects are at risk due to the propensity of Myrmica rubra to forage on foliage, lawns, and trees. Williams and Alpert will be conducting a baiting study that they hope will shed additional light on the best ways to treat Myrmica rubra.

What Is An European Fire Ant?

European Fire Ant
Myrmica rubra Linnaeus
Subfamily Myrmicinae
Color: Reddish-brown
Size: 1/8 to 3/16 inch
DISTRIBUTION This species is widely distributed in Europe and was likely introduced into the northeastern U.S. in the early 1900s in imported plant materials. It has become a nuisance pest along coastal Maine and is also reported in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and parts of southeast Canada. (For pest control in Massachusetts and New Hampshire contact A1 Exterminators.)
KEY BIOLOGY POINTS Where they occur, European fire ants are a health concern due to the painful stings they can inflict. Stings occur when people are outside enjoying their yard or a park or when gardening and disturb the workers or the colony. This ant may also impact the biodiversity in areas where it becomes established, outcompeting native ant species and attacking small animals.
Colony Structure. The colonies are moderate to large in size and contain multiple queens (polygynous). A colony may contain more than 20,000 workers and 600 queens. Colonies are also polydomous with multiple, interconnected nests.
Nesting Habits. A key factor in nest site location seems to be high humidity so nests are typically located under woody debris and leaf litter which retain moisture. Nest densities can be high with up to 1.5 nests per square meter. Like many pest ants, the colonies are highly mobile and can quickly be moved to areas with better resources. Nests are also possible in the soil of potted plants.
Foraging Behavior. Little is known about this species’ foraging behavior, but like most ants, workers likely follow structural guidelines for much of the trail.
Feeding Habits. These ants are omnivorous, feeding on dead insects and the honeydew produced by homopterous insects (e.g., aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects).
Colony Propagation. New colonies are formed by swarming reproductives. In the U.S., mating flights likely occur in late summer.

Source: PCT Field Guide for the Management of Structure-Infesting Ants, Third Edition

Spring Is Here, The Flowers Are Blooming And The Insects Are Swarming

Now that spring is here the insects that have over wintered become active and swarm again, especially ants and termites, but they are not the only pests. Over the next few weeks you will see lots of insects making there way back into the world to join us in the beautiful days to come.

  • Moisture is a main component of the spring. Heavy rains, water from snow runoff and rising ground water levels can lead to damp basements.
  • Roof leaks, leaky skylights and water leaking around windows are all common places where carpenter ants go to nest in search of water.
  • Ground water provides moisture for termites and other crawling insects. As mentioned earlier, termites swarm in spring.
  • Carpenter bees are active, taking pollen from shrubs and plants and transporting it back to their nests – drilled, half-inch holes often found on garages and other areas around the home with an accumulation of sawdust and pollen around the hole.

Is Your Home Infested With Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter Ants are large, they are between .25 to 1 inch in length, They live throughout the United States but prefer dead, damp wood to build their nests. Carpenter ants are a common pest that may be infesting your home, especially the black carpenter ant.

Carpenter ants are not termites, they do not eat the wood in your home, but this does not mean they are harmless to your home. If you suspect you have a carpenter ant problem it is wise of you to contact A1 Exterminators immediately. Carpenter ants will cut through the wood in your home to build nest slowly tearing apart the wood and in the end, it may take longer than a termite, having a similar effect to your home if you were infested with termites.

How do you know if you have a carpenter ant problem? Call Us! But if you want to be a little more sure first, look for some signs. We all see ants roaming around throughout all of spring. But does that mean your home is infested and at risk?

The first sign you may see to warn you your home may need an exterminator are flying ants. In the spring, you may see swarms of flying ants throughout the area of you home. If you see this don’t wait to see more possible signs, call, there are not many other reasons flying ants are coming up from your porch. Waiting it out isn’t a risk you want to take. And unless you are looking for additional signs or you get a good look at the ants body, there is always the chance they were termites to begin with. And if that is the case, CALL!

I hope this little bit of information was helpful, with the beautiful weather the ants are already out and ready to build new nests. So keep your eyes open and phones ready to call us at 1-800-525-4825!