Fire Ant he also arrived in Italy. This is one of the types the most dangerous invasive insects in the world, and the recent observation on our territory is also a first at European level. This is reported by a study published in the journal Current Biology: 88 nests in Sicily, on an area of 4.7 hectares near Syracuse.
It was not specified how exactly Solenopsis invicta (scientific name) arrived on the island, but tests DNA suggest origins from United States or from China but according to the study, about 7% of Europe’s territory and 50% of cities could offer ideal conditions for the spread of this species.
It is also known as the warrior ant because it causes significant damage to ecosystems, agriculture and human health. Second Matthias Menchetti from the Spanish Institute of Evolutionary Biology, who led the study “The main damage caused by the invasion of this species is related to electrical devices, communication systems and agriculture.” It also has a significant impact on natural ecosystems, being a generalist predator that reduces the diversity of invertebrates and small vertebrates in its habitats, and also has a negative impact on young or weak animals.
Its bites are extremely painful and can lead to serious allergic reactions. To fight the invasion Region Sicily is planning an eradication and monitoring program for this species with the support of the research team as scientific advisor.
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