Cold Canadian winters have long provided the free ecosystem service of limiting the distribution of invasive insects, especially exotic ants that are typically temperature sensitive. The identification of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in Victoria in 2013, however, may be an indicator that such protection is weakening. The Argentine ant is not alone, the tropical sting ant (Hypoponera punctatissima) and the pavement ant (Tetramorium sp E), have also recently appeared. In 2010 the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) was identified in North Vancouver and is now known to be established in many locations in southwestern BC, including parks in Richmond, Vancouver and North Vancouver.
An economic impact assessment commissioned by the province of BC suggested that costs of $100 million/yr may be incurred if this species spreads across its potential range. Further, an additional European Myrmica species has just been confirmed that appears to have spread extensively, but unnoticed, until this year.
In this presentation, I will discuss these new arrivals, their impacts and early attempts at control.
For Elluminate information and link to the webcast: http://www.unbc.ca/nres/nresi_webcast.html
Dr. Allan Costello, 250.960.5658
Dr. Philippe Henry, 250.960.5424