Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of urban entomology at the University of Florida. In a report to be published in early 2018 in Florida Entomologist, he and his colleagues document an established population of the little yellow ant (Plagiolepis alluaudi) in Fort Lauderdale, discovered after a colony had infested a home in the area. The little yellow ant is a tropical species, native to Madagascar, but it has made its way to the Caribbean sometime in the past decade. Now it’s been found in Florida.
Unlike some other invasive ant species found in the United States, the little yellow ant does not bite or sting. However, it will likely be difficult to manage.
Of the 20 most important pest ant species in Florida, 19 are invasive, which Chouvenc credits to warm weather and human activity. Because the species is of tropical origin, Chouvenc says he is optimistic that it won’t spread far northward. But he and his colleagues will be busy monitoring P. alluaudi in the future. Read more about this tiny ant species at Entomology Today.