We investigated kin relatedness and kin-recognition abilities of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), an invader from North America that has pervaded Japan for 20 yr, using genetic analyses and behavioral bioassays. From these data and interactions among factors, we formulated an eradication and management time-scale pattern diagram. Relatedness within a colony using microsatellite markers was effectively zero, whereas relatedness estimated by multilocus DNA fingerprinting markers was relatively high. Specifically, relatedness of recently invaded populations was estimated at nearly 0.3. From the results of behavioral bioassays on the invading populations of the Argentine ant, all colonies except the Kobe supercolonies did not show clearly aggressive behaviors toward workers belonging to other colonies, even when distantly located. Because they are critical factors for eradicating and managing invasive organisms, we assessed the relationships among kin relatedness using multilocus DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite markers, with aggressiveness, in 2011 and 2012, including the establishment durations, and distances among supercolonies. A generalized linear model (GLM) analysis, with establishment durations as an explanatory variable, strongly contributed to explaining estimated relatedness from the two methods. Specifically, models using kin relatedness for both multilocus DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite markers provided the strongest contribution to explaining the establishment durations. Within 3 yr after establishment in a native area, eradication is possible because of their low genetic diversity and small colony size. After 15 yr, eradication will be more difficult, but it is preferable to just monitor the impact for a nonnative ecosystem.
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Vol. 110 • No. 4