The “electric ant”, a dangerous and invasive species spotted for the first time in France

Author: Clark Tos
2022-10-20 10:56:02

The tiger mosquito and now the “electric ant”? This harmful species of ant has been spotted in large numbers in the South of France. A first.

Credit: AntWeb/Wikipedia

The “electric ant”, so nicknamed because of the pain caused by its bite, is as dangerous as it is invasive. This species was seen for the first time in mainland France and threatens French biodiversity.

It is precisely in the Var that the Wasmannia auropunctata was spotted by an enthusiast of ants in a closed residence by the sea. Originally from South America, she had already been seen once in Europe, in Malaga, Spain. She is now present at Toulon .

An ant placed on the list of species of concern for the EU

Credit: INPN_MNHN/Twitter

Despite its small size (it measures 1.5 millimeters), the 'electric ant' is nevertheless formidable. As Olivier Blight, researcher at the Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology at the University of Avignon, explains to AFP, its bite can cause “ a sensation of nettle, stronger and longer, since it lasts 2-3 hours '. The researcher also points out that this bite can eradicate insects and cause blindness in animals.

In humans, the sting is not left out since it can cause anaphylactic shock for people with allergies.

Caution is therefore required because, even if it moves slowly, the 'electric ant' has a ' conventional sexual reproduction system and production of queens and males by cloning. Its strength is its number “recalls Olivier Blight.

As for knowing how this ant arrived on French soil, the researcher specifies: “ We were already dealing with a super-colony, so we think it has been there for over a year” and that it arrived in plants. Today, the researcher had the “electric ant” placed on the list of species of European Union concern.

Source : 20 Minutes