Rasberry Crazy Ants, Known to Damage Electronics, Identified as Nylanderia Fulva
The Rasberry Crazy Ant has been officially identified as Nylanderia fulva. A research team led by John LaPolla from Towson University in Maryland identifies the species as Nylanderia fulva in a research paper published in PLoS One. The species is very similar to Nylanderia pubens, a Caribbean crazy ant species, pictured above.
The Raspberry Crazy Ant was named after exterminator Tom Rasberry when he discovered them in 2002 in Harris County, Texas. The main problem with crazy ants is they get into electronics and cause damage. They can damage computers and cars and short out breaker boxes. NASA called in Rasberry to save its computers from the ants in 2008.
LaPolla said in a release, "This study demonstrates the invaluable role that taxonomy, an often underappreciated discipline, plays in our understanding of emerging pests. Now that we know just what species the Rasberry Crazy Ant really is, we can better understand its biology to improve control of this invasive species."
The crazy ants are still spreading in Texas, according to a KHOU news story. Take a look:
Photo: Gotzek D, Brady SG, Kallal RJ, LaPolla JS et al./PLoS One