Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The Guianese population of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima is unicolonial.

Abstract

In this study, conducted in French Guiana, a part of the native range of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima, we compared the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of media workers with previous results based on intraspecific aggressiveness tests. We noted a strong congruence between the two studies permitting us to delimit 2 supercolonies extending over large distances (up to 54 km), a phenomenon known as unicoloniality. Solenopsis geminata workers, taken as an out-group for cluster analyses, have a very different cuticular hydrocarbon profile. Because S. saevissima has been reported outside its native range, our conclusion is that this species has the potential to become invasive because unicoloniality (i.e., the main attribute for ants to become invasive) was shown at least for the Guianese population.