Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Specialized predation on Wasmannia auropunctata by the army ant species Neivamyrmex compressinodis.

Abstract

We report here the first case of an efficient and specialized predator of the invasive ant species Wasmannia auropunctata: the army ant Neivamyrmex compressinodis. Our results are based on a study that we conducted in French Guiana, a part of the Wasmannia's native range. When N. compressinodis workers attacked W. auropunctata nests, the assaulted workers panicked and left the nests, some of them carrying brood. Nevertheless, during its raids on W. auropunctata, N. compressinodis was able to capture nearly all of the W. auropunctata brood and winged sexuals, whereas none of the attacks by N. compressinodis on other sympatric ant species were successful. Laboratory experiments revealed that the workers of eight compared sympatric species attacked the N. compressinodis individuals and that N. compressinodis workers accepted W. auropunctata brood as well as that of most of the tested species, showing that its specificity probably depends on the reaction of the W. auropunctata workers.