Argentine ants displace floral arthropods in a biodiversity hotspot

  title={Argentine ants displace floral arthropods in a biodiversity hotspot},
  author={Lori Lach},
  journal={Diversity and Distributions},
  • L. Lach
  • Published 20 August 2007
  • Environmental Science
  • Diversity and Distributions
Argentine ant (Linepithema humile (Mayr)) invasions are often associated with the displacement of ground‐dwelling arthropods. Argentine ant invasions can also exert other effects on the community through interactions with plants and their associated arthropods. For example, carbohydrate resources (e.g. floral or extrafloral nectar) may influence foraging behaviour and interactions among ants and other arthropods. In South Africa's Cape Floristic Region, Argentine ants and some native ant… 

Patterns of Floral Visitation to Native Hawaiian Plants in Presence and Absence of Invasive Argentine Ants1

Results suggest that Argentine ants may cause a reduction of native Hylaeus bee abundances in presence and absence of invasive Argentine ants in the subalpine shrubland of Haleakalā volcano.

Patterns of floral resource use by two dominant ant species in a biodiversity hotspot

It is shown that the availability of floral nectar and ability of Linepithema humile to more effectively utilise this temporarily available resource than native ants, can contribute significantly to the further spread and persistence of L. humile in natural environments in the CFR.

Synergistic impact of invasive alien plants and the alien Argentine ant on local ant assemblages in the Western Cape

Alien trees, Pinus spp. and Eucalyptus spp., affect ants negatively in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), a global biodiversity hotspot in South Africa. They reduce ant abundance and species richness,

Ants, pests and natural enemies in Mediterranean citrus. Ecological interactions and practical implications for biological control

Results suggest that factors other than parasitoid disruption might explain the increased pest populations observed in the presence of ants, and compare the abundance, species richness, diversity and community structure of predators and parasitoids between the ant-allowed and ant excluded treatments.

Herbivory-induced extrafloral nectar increases native and invasive ant worker survival

It is revealed that ants cannot induce A. saligna extrafloral nectar production, but workers of both native and invasive ant species can benefit from extraflora nectar as much as they benefit from sucrose.

Ant-Plant Mutualism in Hawai‘i? Invasive Ants Reduce Flower Parasitism but also Exploit Floral Nectar of the Endemic Shrub Vaccinium reticulatum (Ericaceae)1

Ant densities in flowers were high and floral nectar was excessively exploited, which may lead to a reduced visitation rate of pollinators, but the ants' presence on flowers strongly reduced flower parasitism by caterpillars of the introduced plume moth Stenoptilodes littoralis and thus decreased the loss of flowers and buds.

Bumble Bee Avoidance of Argentine Ants and Associated Chemical Cues

The marked effects of this invasive ant on bee foraging behavior—through physical interaction and chemical cues—highlights Argentine ants as a serious pest whose control should be considered when developing pollinator conservation and management strategies.


These ants present a stressful omnivory, and many species are involved in aggressive interactions, including Camponotus Mayr, the most abundant and diverse, with seven species patrolling leaves and foraging for EFN and honeydews at P. moniliformis.

Population Growth of Aphis gossypii and Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in the Presence of Linepithema humile and Tapinoma sessile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

It is suggested that colonies of L. humile and perhaps other invasive ants may acquire more honeydew than native ants, thereby fueling colony growth that leads to numerical dominance and widespread success in introduced environments.

Synergisms between Alien Trees and the Argentine Ant on Indigenous Ant Species in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa

The effects of alien trees and the Alien ant are synergistic, both positively and negatively, depending on the particular indigenous ant species in question, and the changes in the indigenous ant assemblage wrought by alien trees are further influenced by the presence of the alien ant.



A mutualism with a native membracid facilitates pollinator displacement by Argentine ants.

  • L. Lach
  • Environmental Science
  • 2007
Though Argentine ants were not associated with a decline in P. nitida seed set or ovule predation, declines in generalist insect pollinators may have ramifications for the 83% of fynbos plants that are insect pollinated.

Bottom‐up control and co‐occurrence in complex communities: honeydew and nectar determine a rainforest ant mosaic

The differential role of honeydew (as a specialised resource for dominant ants) and nectar (as an opportunistic resource for all ants including the co-occurring non-dominant species) provides a plausible structuring mechanism for the Australian canopy ant community studied.

Interference of Pheidole megacephala (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with biological control of Coccus viridis (Homoptera: Coccidae) in coffee.

It was concluded that ants were necessary for the survival of C. viridis in coffee and that scale survival was not due to sanitational benefits from the removal of honeydew by ants.

Ant exclusion and reproduction of Croton sarcopetalus (Euphorbiaceae)

Argentine Ants Strongly Affect Some but Not All Common Insects on Baccharis halimifolia

The results of this experiment suggest that ant tending by L. humile on B. halimifolia may only impact those insects normally involved in the ant–aphid mutualism and not all herbivores of this host plant.

Facultative mutualism between weedy vetches bearing extrafloral nectaries and weedy ants in California

Vetches (Vicia spp.) were studied in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the spring of 1978 to determine if these ants protect the vetches from herbivores or seed predators, and analysis of sugar and amino acid composition of extrafloral nectar served as a basis for feeding tests with Argentine ants.


Exploring potential avenues for selection, several costs and benefits of EF nectary traits that have received little empirical attention are uncovered, including a constraint faced by plants when attracting both pollinators and protectors via nectar, as well as an ecological cost of nectar when herbivores consume EF nectar as adults.

A mutualism's indirect costs: the most aggressive plant bodyguards also deter pollinators

The hypothesis that aggressive ant bodyguards of plants deter pollinators is tested, and mechanisms by which Ferocactus wislizeni, an extrafloral nectary bearing cactus, limits conflicts between its pollinators and bodyguards are explored.

Studies on egg predation by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) especially on the eucalyptus borer Phoracantha semipunctata (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Portugal.

Evidence of the importance of some ants as predators of the many insects that lay freely exposed eggs is supported by the observed striking positive correlation between presence of I. humilis and lack of Phoracantha semipunctata damage to standing trees.