A single mega-colony of ants has been able to filter into much of the world according to scientists. The inter-related colony that have spread across Europe, the United States and Japan refuse to fight each other.
The Argentine ant was first identified in 1866 at Buenos Aires, Argentina by German entomologist Dr. Gustav L. Mayr .
The colony of ants could rival humans when it comes to world domination. They are unwittingly getting help by people in their world growth. The Linepithema humile are native to South America but people have introduced ants to every continent in the world except for Antarctica.
Known for forming large colonies and attacking native animals and crops an Argentine ant colony can span over 3,700 miles. That is the size of the colony that has formed along the Mediterranean coast. There is a 560 mile long colony in California and another large colony that is along the west coast of Japan.
The ants can cause havoc with the ecosystem by killing off native small animals and plants. They are a menace to farmers as they will protect aphids and scale insects from predators and parasitoids. For this protection the ants are rewarded with an excretion known as honeydew.
The fact that these colonies will not fight each other is very rare in the ant world. Researchers testing the ants chemical profile have found that the world-wide colony is from a single colony in South America.
Because the ants are not aggressive with each other they have been able to expand into such large super colonies.
A new colony can be formed with as few as 10 worker ants and a single queen ant.