The ant Anoplolepis gracilipes is an invasive species in Australia that wreaks havoc there. Insects attack in swarms, sprinkle acid on their victims, destroy crops and kill animals. They can also burn a person. Activists appeal to the authorities to take urgent measures to contain the plague of yellow, “crazy” – as they are commonly referred to – ants.
Ants Anoplolepis gracilipes, colloquially known as yellow crazy ants, they are probably of African origin, but are spreading increasingly into Australia, most recently in Queensland. On Monday, there was information about their first discovery in the city of Gold Coast, the 7 News portal reported.
Ants are “crazy menace”
According to the non-governmental organization Invasive Species Council (ISC), which monitors invasive species on the continent, an ant plague is threatening, among others, the Wet Tropics National Park in Queensland, one of the oldest rainforests on Earth.
The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers nearly 9,000 square kilometers of Australian wet rainforests along Northeast Queensland.
– Insects have moved closer to some really important biodiversity areas. If the yellow mad ants are allowed to spread into northern Queensland, they will be a huge threat to sugarcane farming and agriculture in the area, warned ISC’s James Trezise.
“They blind victims and that makes them so effective killers”
The “yellow crazy ants,” reported earlier this week, were about three kilometers from Mount Elliot, home to species of frogs and lizards found nowhere else in the world.
– If they get there, they will completely destroy these species. Once they nest there, they will sweep away all the little animals from the landscape: insects, frogs, lizards, Trezise decided. This species of ants does not bite, but sprinkles formic acid. – They blind victims and that makes them so effective killers. They attack in swarms and blind frogs or even much larger animals, and then feed them to the colony – he added. Yellow crazy ants (in English yellow crazy ants) have gained such a common name because they move in a chaotic manner when they are scared. They are considered to be one of the largest and most dangerous species of invasive insects.
They can burn a man
In places where they form so-called supercolonies, they can destroy sugarcane crops and fruit orchards. On Australia’s Christmas Island, where they have been present since 1934, they have already killed millions of endemic red crabs and changed the structure of the forest, warns the ISC.
“There are people in Townsville who cannot sell their homes right now due to the infestation of the Yellow Mad Ants,” said Tresize. – When you come into contact with them, you will likely end up with burns to your skin. A gentleman in Cairns was hospitalized with burns to his eyes, says ISC’s Bev Job.
PAP, 7news.com.au, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: Shutterstock, James Trezise / Twitter