Succession of invasive ants in residential environments of Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico.
The invasive ant species complex was determined within three Puerto Rican housing developments of different ages (one, four, and eight years old). Frequency and relative abundance data were collected from each site. A total of 19 different ant species were identified from the sites, with the major pest species being red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), big-headed ants (Pheidole spp.), crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis), and rover ants (Brachymyrmex sp. 1). Sampling data indicated that S. invicta and Brachymyrmex sp. 1 were the first species to invade the one year old site. Both S. invicta and Brachymyrmex sp. 1 had a high sampling frequency, although S. invicta was the most abundant species. In the four year old site, three different species (S. invicta, M. destructor, and P. fallx) accounted for >75% of the samples collected, another seven species, including P. moerens, Tapinoma melanocephalum, and P. longicornis, made up <25%. Sampling data from the eight year old site indicated that although 12 species were present, S. invicta and P. fallax were both the most frequently sampled and the most abundant. S. invicta was a dominant species within all three housing developments. Many other species are able to co-exist with S. invicta.