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‘Social’ chromosome could offer new solutions for dealing with red fire ants, say researchers

January 17, 2013

‘Social’ chromosome could offer new solutions for dealing with red fire ants, say researchers

Researchers identify new “social” chromosome in the red fire ant.

Nobody wants to be stung by a red fire ant. Fortunately, researchers from the University of London-Queen Mary think that a newly discovered “social” chromosome” in the highly invasive fire ants could offer novel solutions for dealing with this pest. They believe that this social chromosome helps to explain why some colonies allow for more than one queen ant.

According to Invaders of the Sonoran Desert Region (a project of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum), there are six known species of fire ants in the United States. These pests are tiny but extremely aggressive. They inject a necrotising, alkaloid venom when they sting. The stings result in painful and itchy pustules.

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