Identifying characteristics on the fire ant workerhead: ten-segmented antennae with two-
|Multiple ant stings|
New Zealand has cooler temperatures that make it more difficult for them to survive here limiting incursions to the warmer parts of the North Island. Incursions and spread tends to be accidental by human transport. However the nest found in 2006 is suspected to have been present at least two years and not related to the 2004 incursion. Social forms determine management strategies. Polygyne nests tend to be larger but fertile queens may leave once winged and travel short distances from the parent nest. They also may be monogyne. It has been theorised that the larger nests may be able to cope with NZ winters as they can generate a higher stable internal temperature.
Corin, S. E., Ritchie, P. A. & Lester, P.J. (2008). Introduction pathway analysis into New Zealand highlights a source population ‘Hotspot” in the native range of the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta). Sociobiology, 52; 129-143.
Miller, D. & Allen, H. (2010), Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA),Publication 444-284,Virginia State University; http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/444/444-284/444-284.html