Ecological impacts on native ant and ground-dwelling animal communities through Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) management in Japan
In the last 30 years some limited successes in alien ant control have been documented globally, and control programs remain challenging. Moreover, the potential non-target impacts of toxicants have not been well studied. We assessed the efficacy and non-target effects of multiple products containing the active compound fipronil in the attempted control of two populations of the invasive Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Mayr) in Tokyo, Japan. Three treatments were conducted: control, low-dose treatment (0.1 g/ha per treatment), and high-dose treatment (0.2 g/ha). Treatments were applied once per month for 11 months. The abundance of L. humile declined rapidly by up to 99.8 % in treated areas, but remained at extremely high densities in the control area. The treatments had few negative non-target effects, with the abundances of native ant species and other ground-dwelling invertebrates except for cockroaches being greater in the treated areas after L. humile suppression. Thus, fipronil is an effective compound for controlling L. humile and can be used with minimal toxic effects on non-target organisms. The treatments cost approximately US$ 575/ha for the low-dose treatment and US$ 1250/ha for the high-dose treatment. Our research supports the creation of more ambitious invasive ant management projects.
KeywordsBiological invasion Eradication Fipronil Linepithema humile Non-target effects
We thank Fumakilla Ltd. for donating the ant bait. We also thank W. Abe, A. Hattori, Y. Honda, A. Ishizuka, H. Imai, T. Matsuki, Y. Miyake, S. Moriguchi, T. Nagaki, M. Nishiyama, T. Osawa, S. Tanigaki, and H. Tokuda for their invaluable help in the field and Ben Hoffmann, F. Ito, T. Kameyama, and Y. Sakamoto for helpful suggestions on this manuscript. This study was supported by the Global Environment Research Fund (D-1101, Leader: K. Goka) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, 2011.
- Costa HS, Rust MK (1999) Mortality and foraging rates of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) colonies exposed to potted plants treated with fipronil. J Agric Urban Entomol 16(1):37–48Google Scholar
- Harris RJ (2002) Potential impact of the Argentine ant (Linepitema humile) in New Zealand and options for its control. Science for Conservation 196. Department of Conservation, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
- Harris RJ, Rees JS, Toft RJ (2002) Trials to eradicate infestations of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in New Zealand. In: Jones SC, Zhai J, Robinson WMH (eds) Proceedings of the 4th international conference on urban Pests. Blacksburg, Virginia, pp 67–74Google Scholar
- Hoffmann BD, Abbott KL, Davis P (2010) Invasive ant management. Ant ecology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Hoffmann B, Davis P, Gott K, Jennings C, Joe S, Krushelnycky P, Miller R, Webb G, Widmer M (2011) Improving ant eradications: details of more successes, a global synthesis and recommendations. Aliens. Invasive Spec Bull 31:16–23Google Scholar
- Klotz JH, Rust MK, Greenberg L, Field HC, Kupfer K (2007) An evaluation of several urban pest management strategies to control Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 50(2):391–398Google Scholar
- Lowe S, Browne M, Boudjelas S, De Poorter M (2004) 100 of the World’s worst invasive alien species. In: A selection from the Global Invasive Species Database, The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) a specialist group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)Google Scholar
- Marr RM, O’Dowd DJ, Green P (2003) Assessment of non-target impacts of Presto®01 ant bait on litter invertebrates in Christmas Island National Park, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
- Roura-Pascual N, Hui C, Ikeda T, Leday G, Richardson DM, Carpintero S, Espadaler X, Gomez C, Guenard B, Hartley S, Krushelnycky P, Lester PJ, McGeoch MA, Menke SB, Pedersen JS, Pitt JPW, Reyes J, Sanders NJ, Suarez AV, Touyama Y, Ward D, Ward PS, Worner SP (2011) Relative roles of climatic suitability and anthropogenic influence in determining the pattern of spread in a global invader. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(1):220–225PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar