Spatial Distribution and Density of Nylanderia Pubens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Urban Lots
  Key Words  
  Caribbean Crazy Ants, spatial dynamics, urban environments, ant management
  Stephanie K. Larrick, Phil G. Koehler, and Roberto M. Pereira
  The tropical and subtropical super colony tramp ant, Nylanderia pubens, the Caribbean crazy ant (CCA), was originally described from the Greater Antilles Islands and now has spread throughout the Caribbean and South America. In 1950, CCA was first reported in Florida and now is spread throughout the state and along the Gulf of Mexico coast. These ants invade areas; spreading out across large regions and disrupting natural ecosystems. In order to better control these pest ants, we need to understand their spatial dynamics in their habitat. This study examined the spatial distribution and density of CCA on urban lots in North Central Florida. The ant population was sampled on two urban lots over the course of a year. In late March and April, CCA were found in discrete areas around the lots. As the season progressed through July and August and the temperature increased, the infestation spread from the initial focal points to broader areas. The number of ants at each location also increased. In late September and October, the infestation became less broad. The number of ants at each location also decreased as temperature decreased. These results demonstrate the rapid growth in population range and size during warm months, and indicate that control strategies should begin early in the year to prevent the spread of the infestation.