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LJWorld.com weblogs Dangerous Ideas

The Ant With No Name

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First of all is an article in the NY Times Science section which at least got the genus name of the ant correct.A Pest Without a Name...Plus the NY Times article provides a link to the urban entomology page about the ant at Texas A&M which has more pictures and the latest known information about the ant:Exotic Texas Ant Paratrechina sp. near pubensWhat's this near pubens stuff? In biology species names have a two parts usually derived from Latin or Greek. So the best we can do is assign this ant to a genus Paratrechina but the best we can say is that it is similar to another member of the genus Paratrechina pubens or the Carribbean crazy ant. This ant has a very similar biology and has gotten to be a problem in Florida.Having the correct name is not just a pedantic matter, because often creatures that look alike have very different biologies. http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/ants/caribbean_crazy_ant.htmOf course evolution being a dynamic process where one species begins and ends can be difficult to decide and it may be in time that the Texas ant will end up being classified as P. pubens or maybe characterized by some sort of genetic marker as a sub population.

Comments

Paul Decelles 6 years, 7 months ago

Multi,Boric acid works great for ants and other critters, so I ca vouch for that. Dave should be careful with it around pets and kids. As for the announcement, thank you and he does remind me of myself at that age-except at that that point I had longer hair and a beard. Yes I did take that pic.

David Lignell 6 years, 7 months ago

Hi Paul,All I know is that I have two varieties of ants who feel at home in...uh...my home. When I get a few moments, I'll take pictures and I'm hopeful you can identify the species (or is it genus) for me. Basically, I think ants are cool overall. Still, they lack that status when they're exploring my bathroom toothbrush or the discarded washcloth that absorbed spilled Kool Aid from the night before. So, help me Paul. Apply that intellect of yours to my selfish, practical needs. How do I encourage those segmented creatures away from my dwelling without using poison? Seriously, is there a flower or type of plant that acts as a natural deterent?

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