Do red imported fire ants have any redeeming qualities?

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Red imported fire ants have earned a justifiably bad rap across the south and most Texans would be hard put to name a single redeeming quality the ants have.

But a team of Texas A&M scientists and a colleague from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge have published a manuscript offering a glimmer of redemption for the invaders. The paper, “Decreased small mammal and on-host tick abundance in association with invasive red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta,” was published in the scientific journal Royal Society Biology Letters on Sept. 21. The work and list of collaborators are available at http://bit.ly/2cDdgWy. Continue reading