26 May 2021.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) of Argentine Ant was successfully detected by researchers. It was detected in surface soil samples collected from Kobe Port Island and Kyoto’s Fushimi District.
- Both the areas have faced huge destruction caused by this invasive species called Argentine Ant.
- Invasive ant species causing severe damage across the world. So, its early detection and rapid elimination is essential to control their populations.
- However, current pest control methods in inefficient. Methods includes direct detection techniques like visual observation, classification, capture, elimination, observation and evaluation which requires special knowledge, labour and time.
- Researchers suggest, issue of Argentine ant cannot be eradicated by focusing on one species.
- They found, eDNA analysis effective in providing a useful tool to observe and evaluate invasion, establishment and proliferation of these ant species.
- The ant is native to northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and southern Brazil.
- It is an invasive species, established across many Mediterranean climate areas.
- It has been introduced by humans to places like Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Easter Island, Hawaii, Europe and United States. Worker ants are 1.6–2.8 millimetres long.
- Thus, can squeeze through cracks and holes of 1 millimetre easily.
- This ant species is counted among 100 worst animal invaders of the world.