Little fire ant

The 2017-2019 Interim Guam Invasive Species Management Plan (GISMP) expresses the overarching goals and priorities of the Guam Invasive Species Council (GISC or Council). The Guam Invasive Species Act of 2011 (Public Law 31-43) established the Council as Guam’s lead entity in coordinating with local, regional, national, and international jurisdic¬tions in the fight against alien invasive species. Although the GISC is in its infancy stages of organization, it draws from the collective knowledge, past research, and progress of its members in establishing the Council’s goals and priorities.

Since Elton highlighted the problem of biological invasions, numerous studies have established their importance in the structural evolution of natural communities, in particular insular communities. Because of their isolation, islands are regarded as natural evolution laboratories which are characteristically very fragile once the boundary is disturbed. This fragility is illustrated by the high proportion of species extinctions observed in islands: since 1600, more than 75% of monitored disappearances have been registered in islands.

Invasive ants are a diverse group of aggressive, competitive, dominating ant species that can rapidly establish and spread. Several ant species are amongst the most serious global invasive species. Their broad diets, nesting habits, ability to breed rapidly, high densitites and adaptibility to varied habitats make them excellent invaders. Agricultural economic, environmental and social wellbeing are threatened by these ants, many of which have been introduced to, and established in, many countries

The Little Fire Ant may be small but it has a very long scientific name - Wasmannia auropunctata. It is about 1.5 mm with a light to golden brown colour. Its home is Central and South America but it has travelled far to the Pacific islands and now lives in eight of our island countries - French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.