Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta)

Watercolor and colored pencil

The red imported fire ant is native to South America but can now be found in many southern US states, from Florida to California. It has also been unintentionally introduced in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia and the Carribean. It is one of the over 200 species in the Solenopsis (stinging) group of ants which are identified mainly by their sting, their small size, reddish color and subterannean existence. When inhabiting a non-native environment, this colonizing species can disrupt the ecosystem in several ways, from changing the pH and drainage of the soil to affecting the mutual relationships that exist between native ants and other species- and of course by the intensity of their sting! Fire ants in general are known for being able to kill small animals with their toxic venom. Worker ants in this species are polymorphic, meaning they can appear in different forms. For more about this species, visit the Global Invasive Species Database >>

Project: Commissioned for a collection of exemplar species pages during the launch phase of the Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) whose goal is to provide information about every species on the planet.

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
For further re-use, please contact me directly at tam@tamaraclark.com. 
Original: Available

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 For re-use of this image, please contact me directly at tam@tamaraclark.com. Please do not re-use without permission.