Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The European fire ant, Myrmica rubra (Linnaeus) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in the creditriver watershed.

Abstract

The European fire ant, Myrmica rubra (Linneaus) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive species in Canada and the United States. Myrmica rubra has proven to be very hard to control once it has invaded an area, and preventing further spread of the species is important for moderating its negative effects. There are limited studies of this species in Ontario. We used pitfall traps to sample M. rubra at ten wetlands in the Credit River watershed and explored the relationships between three factors-disturbance, wetness, and proportion of urban land use surrounding the wetlands-and M. rubra incidence and abundance. Three of the ten sites had a very high abundance (>30,000 ants) of M. rubra. The proportion of surrounding urban cover and disturbance had strong positive relationships with both the incidence and abundance of M. rubra. Ecological and land use data predicting M. rubra presence and abundance can assist in identifying sites that may be vulnerable to future invasions. We recommend incorporating ant monitoring into existing long-term monitoring efforts in southern Ontario.