Little fire ant

Introduced most probably intentionally, as a biological control against nut fall bugs (Amblypelta sp) in coconut and cocoa, the Little Fire Ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) has for more than 30 years continued to spread and colonies a number of different environments in the Solomon Islands. To date, no studies have investigated the ecological impact of these ants. The impact of Little Fire Ants was measured on (1) the overall ant fauna within subsistence gardens, (2) the prevalence of additional insect pests in subsistence gardens, and (3) the significant pest Tarophagus sp.

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