Lizzy

I am Masingita Lizzy Maluleke.I did Bachelor degree of Enviremental Sciences at the University of Venda for science and technology majored with Geography and Ecology and Resourse Managenment.I am presantly doing honours with the university of the Western Cape in Ecological Informatics.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

FIRE ANTS GIVE A BURNING BITE

It was on the 4th December 2006 when I here about the fire ants (Wasmannia auropunctata). I read the article from the Daily sun newspaper and the article was talking about the dangerous of the fire ants. According to the daily sun, there are over 280 species of fire ants species on the world (1). The fire ants are reddish brown to black in colour. The length of fire ants ranges from 1millimetres and above. Fire ants are native at southern and central part of America and they are invaded in west of Africa (Gabon, Cameroon). According to the article, South African not yet invaded by Wasmannia auropunctata (2).

Fire ants prefer to dwell in disturbed areas (garden) and in riparian zones. They are also prefers to live in large colonies. Fire ants also produce mound in the open areas. Fire ants (Wasmannia auropunctata) are very dangerous insects for human and other species. Fire ants attack small animals and kill them by injecting venom (poison). Wasmannia auropunctata feeds on seeds, plants, and crickets.

Fire ants can bite and inject venomous sting into eyes of other species and it will cause blindness. The article also informs the people stay away from fire ants and not tough the nest of the ants because they can spray a powerful acid when it stings that will cause wound. Fire ants can cause declines in other organisms. They also compete with indigenous ants within the affected area.

References:

1. Sun Reporter. 2006 December 4. Daily sun. page 38 ( col 2)

2. Wetterer J. k. Wasmannia auropunctata. Global Invasive Species Database. [Online]. 2006 June 20.[Cited 2006 January 24]. Accessed on:http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=58&fr=1&sts

Lizzy Maluleke

CSIR PTA

0001

Tell [012] 841 2133

Fax [012] 842 3676

E-mail mmaluleke@csir.co.za

Weblog: http://mmaluleke.blogspot.com

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