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15 May 2021 Spread of the Invasive Old World Long-Legged Ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), into Central and Southeastern Mexico
Miguel Vásquez-Bolaños, James K. Wetterer
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Abstract

The long-legged ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, is a widespread pest in moist lowlands of the Paleotropics, known for population explosions particularly on islands. The only Neotropical populations occur in Mexico, first reported >120 years ago from Baja California Sur. It has since spread south through much of western Mexico, but was seemingly prevented from expanding eastward by the arid steppe climate of the Central Mexican Plateau. Here, we report records of continued spread of A. gracilipes in Mexico, including into central and southeastern regions. It is now known from 13 states (in order of earliest record): Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Quintana Roo, Michoacán, Yucatán, México State, Chiapas, and Veracruz. There now seem to be no natural barriers preventing its further spread through moist tropical lowlands of Central and South America. From there, A. gracilipes may spread to Caribbean islands, where its ecological impact could be disastrous.

Miguel Vásquez-Bolaños and James K. Wetterer "Spread of the Invasive Old World Long-Legged Ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), into Central and Southeastern Mexico," Transactions of the American Entomological Society 147(1), 49-55, (15 May 2021). https://doi.org/10.3157/061.147.0104
Published: 15 May 2021
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