Tag Archives: Hymenoptera: Formicidae

Anoplolepis longipes: long-legged ant

California Pest Rating
Anoplolepis longipes: long-legged ant
Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Former Pest Rating: Q
CURRENT Pest Rating: A
Initiating Event:

Anoplolepis longipes was intercepted on a regular basis before 2015 by CDFA. Then, there was a hiatus on interceptions, until it was found in a cut flower shipment from Hawaii on April, 2017. The insect is currently “Q” rated by CDFA, so a pest rating proposal is needed to determine future direction.

History & Status:

Background: Anoplolepis longipes is also known in the literature as Anoplolepis gracilipes and has three common names: long-legged ant, yellow crazy ant, and Maldive ant1. Anoplolepis longipes workers are typically small to medium-sized, around 4-5 mm long with remarkably long legs and 11 segmented antennae. The antennal scape is 1.5 times longer than the head length; this is a key diagnostic feature for the species3.

The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) considers it among the top 100 of the world’s worst invaders1. The native range of these ants is unclear. A recent study by Chen (2008) using ecological niche modelling suggested that Anoplolepis longipes originated in south Asia, expanded into Europe and Afrotropical regions. Then it formed its current distribution. The native range of the species has been obscured by a long history of human-assisted dispersal, as Anoplolepis longipes is readily moved to new areas within sea cargo. To this day, these ants are regularly detected in shipping containers and have been introduced to numerous oceanic islands in the Caribbean, Indian, and Pacific oceans3, 4.

Worldwide Distribution:  Anoplolepis longipes has been found widely throughout the moist tropical lowlands of Asia, Africa, Australia, Central and South America. These ants have been introduced to many Pacific, Caribbean and some Indian Ocean islands. Particularly devastating incursions have been reported on Christmas Island. In the United States these ants were introduced to the Hawaii Islands in 1952 3, 5.

Official Control: Anoplolepis longipes is listed as a harmful organism in French Polynesia and the Republic of Korea7. All ants (Formicidae) are listed as harmful organisms by Australia and Nauru7.

California Distribution:  Anoplolepis longipes has never been found in the environment of California.

California Interceptions: Anoplolepis longipes has been intercepted 259 times since 1990, most recently in April, 2017 by CDFA’s border station and nursery regulatory inspection. Interceptions are typically on plants or plant material imported from Hawaii 6.

The risk Anoplolepis longipes (Long-legged ant) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Anoplolepis longipes have a broad diet characteristic of many invasive ants. A generalized feeding regime increases the invasiveness of an ant due to the increased ability to gain nutrition from any available resources including grains, seeds, arthropods, decaying matter and vegetation3. These ants can move into forests, rural areas, and urban environments at the same time because of their ability to gain nutrition from available resources. The California environment is very suitable for these ants and they could establish throughout California. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California:  Score: 3

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Anoplolepis longipes is primarily a species of lowland, tropical forest. Most collection records are below 1200m in elevation and from moist habitats. In Hawaii it is usually found from sea level to about 600 meters in elevation. It is known to invade disturbed habitats such as urban areas, forest edges and agricultural fields. The ability to live in human dwellings made these ants a serious pest in many households and buildings. However, it prefers to live in a moist habitat and does not establish in heated buildings in cities in temperate regions3.

Anoplolepis longipes have been known to successfully colonize a variety of agricultural systems, including cinnamon, citrus, coffee, cocoa, coconut, mango, sugarcane, banana and grape plantations. In agricultural regions they are typically found nesting at the base, or even in the crown, of crop plants. These ants can feed on dead insects, fish scraps, decaying fruits and on live arthropods2, 3. Anoplolepis longipes can reside in urban and forest setting anywhere near the food source. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score: 3

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Anoplolepis longipes colonies are polygynous (multi-queened) and generally without intraspecific aggression among workers. The life cycle of Anoplolepis longipes has been estimated to take 76-84 days at 20-22oC. Workers live approximately 6 months, and the queens for several years. Queens lay about 700 eggs annually throughout their life span. The primary dispersal within the habitat is through budding and rarely via winged female3. Historically, the rate of spread is potentially much larger through human-mediated transportation. These ants can be moved long distances through terrestrial vehicles, infested machinery, boats, cargo ships, and aircraft. They can also be transported in packaging material, timber and in soil. There have been deliberate introductions for biological control of plant pests in coconut, coffee and cacao plantations2. It receives at High (3) in this category

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score: 3

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Anoplolepis longipes feed and breed on a wide variety of plants, including economically important crops, such as grapes, citrus and many vegetables grown in the moist belt in California. Anoplolepis longipes have the potential to lower yield in these crops by feeding on leaves. These ants may also increase crop production costs by triggering additional management activities. Therefore, it is probable that if Anoplolepis longipes were to establish in California, it would trigger a loss of markets. This would be expected especially for exports of California table grapes. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below.

Economic Impact: A, B, C

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 3

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Anoplolepis longipes are aggressive invaders that have the potential to cause slow, long-term ecological changes that have the potential to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  They may also trigger new treatment programs by residents who find infestations.  This may lead to significant impacts on cultural practices. These ants can compete with Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), as well as with native ants by taking over their habitat. On Christmas Island it attacked native crabs and, therefore, could pose a threat to California arthropods, including rare or endangered ones. It receives a High (3) in this category

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

Environmental Impact: A, B, D, E

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Environmental Impact: Score: 3

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Anoplolepis longipes (Long-legged ant): High (15)

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Anoplolepis longipes has never been found in natural environment in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included:

Score: 0

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (15)

Uncertainty:

There have not been any formal surveys of Anoplolepis longipes in California. This species has been intercepted through regulatory pathways by CDFA, but it is possible that it might be present in certain areas of California.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Anoplolepis longipes is not known to be present in California and would be expected to have a significant economic and environmental impact if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.


References:
  1. Encyclopedia of Life.   eoL online resources.   Accessed June 12, 2017. http://eol.org/pages/470492/overview
  2. Global Invasive spices database.  Accessed June 12, 2017.   http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=110
  3. Invasive Species Compendium: Distribution maps for plant pests. Accessed June 12, 2017.  http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/5575 
  4. Invasive animal risk assessment Dept. of Agriculture and Fisheries Biosecurity Queensland. Accessed June 12, 2017. https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/63372/IPA-Yellow-Crazy-Ant-Risk-Assessment.pdf
  5. L. H. Himmelstein, 2003. Introduced Species summary project. Accessed June 12, 2017. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Anoplolepis_gracilipes.html
  6. Pest and Damage Record Database, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services. http://phpps.cdfa.ca.gov/user/frmLogon2.asp
  7. USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD). Accessed June 12, 2017. https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

Responsible Party:

Javaid Iqbal, California Department of Food and Agriculture; 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; Tel. (916) 403-6695; plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period: CLOSED

August 25, 2017 – October 9, 2017


NOTE:

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment.  If you have registered and have not received the registration confirmation, please contact us at plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment:
Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

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♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.

Brachyponera chinensis: Asian needle ant

California Pest Rating
Brachyponera chinensis:  Asian needle ant
Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Former Pest Rating: Q
Current Pest Rating: A
Initiating Event:

Brachyponera chinensis was frequently intercepted in 2016 by CDFA and requires a pest rating proposal to support its pest rating.

History & Status:

Background: Brachyponera chinensis is commonly known as Asian needle ant, in the past this species has also been called the Chinese needle ant1. Until 2014 the species was also known as Pachycondyla chinensis, this name was used in lot of older publications. Asian needle ant is native to Japan and it was first detected in the United States in Georgia in approximately 1932 (Smith, 1934). Since then, populations have spread throughout large areas along the east coast and into other regions. It is an average size dark brownish-black ant with a conspicuous sting. Asian needle ant generally nests in the soil in somewhat damp areas, especially below stones, in rotting logs and stumps, or other debris. In urban settings it may also be found under mulch, railroad ties, bricks and pavers. Colony size ranges from fewer than 100 individuals to several thousand and multiple queens may be present. Unlike many introduced, invasive ant species, it can also nest in natural wooded habitats. Asian needle ant prefers termites as a food source. It poses medical risks for humans from anaphylaxis resulting from stings. Typically, stings are a result of an individual disturbing a colony or having a winged female land on the body and become trapped between the skin and clothing layer. Stings are painful and persist for up to 30 minutes or more1, 2.

Worldwide Distribution: Brachyponera chinensis is native to Japan and is also found in China1.It has spread to New Zealand, Cambodia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Republic of Korea1. The Asian needle ant has been in the U.S. since the 1930s, but their population has exploded in the past 8 years2.  Now it is found in AL, CT, FL, GA, MS, NC, NY, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, and WI1.

Official Control: Brachyponera chinensis is not known to be under official control in any other states or nations5.

California Distribution:  Brachyponera chinensis has never been found in the environment of California.

California Interceptions: Brachyponera chinensis was intercepted 6 times in 2016 by CDFA’s border stations and nursery regulatory inspections. Interceptions were typically on plants or plant material imported from eastern infested States4.

The risk Brachyponera chinensis (Asian needle ant) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Asian needle ant can move into forests, rural areas, and urban environments at the same time because it can tolerate cooler temperatures, it could spread into a broad range of territory3.California environment is very suitable for this ant and it could establish throughout California. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Asian needle ants build nests in both disturbed areas and natural habitats. They are a temperate species, found in deciduous forests, hardwood forests, agricultural land, and in urban and suburban areas, such as office parks and backyards2. Asian needle ants feed on dead insects, fish scraps, and decaying fruit. They prey on live arthropods, especially termites. It can reside in urban and forest setting anywhere near the food source3. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest.

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Asian needle ants are holometabolous, undergoing complete metamorphosis. Their first batch of eggs is laid in early spring, and egg laying continues throughout the summer. Colony size ranges from fewer than 100 individuals to several thousand, and multiple queens may be present. Asian needle ant is capable of rapid reproduction and can disperse long distances when colonies or queens are moved. It receives at High (3) in this category

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest.

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Asian needle ant is not expected to lower crop yields or increase crop production costs.  It is not expected to vector other pestiferous organisms. Asian needle ants are active predators of many live arthropods which may consume parasitoids, disrupting biological control of pests. Asian needle ants are an emerging health threat because their sting is painful and venomous, resulting changes in cultural practices in livestock production. The ants are not expected to interfere with water supplies.

It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below.

Economic Impact: D, F

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 2

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

4) Environmental Impact: As an invasive species in the eastern United States, Asian needle ants are displacing native ants and arthropod species, such as native ants like Aphaenogaster rudis. Moreover, it can compete with Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) by making nests earlier in the year, when temperatures are too cold for Argentine ants, taking control of areas before Argentine ants have the opportunity2. It is not known to affect any threatened or endangered species or disrupted critical habitats. The ant is not known to trigger any treatment programs or impact cultural practices, home/urban gardening, or ornamental plantings It receives a Medium (2) in this category

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

Environmental Impact: A

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Environmental Impact: Score 2

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Brachyponera chinensis (Asian needle ant): High (13)

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Brachyponera chinensis has never been found in natural environment in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included:

Score: 0

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

-Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

-Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

-High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (13)

Uncertainty:

There have not been any formal surveys of Brachyponera chinensis in California. This species has been intercepted through regulatory pathways by CDFA but it is possible that it might be present in certain areas of the California.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Brachyponera chinensis is not known to be present in California and is expected to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.

References:
  1.  Ants (Formicidae) of the Southeastern United states by Joe A. McGowan, updated   23 March 2016  Accessed December 23, 2016 http://www.mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/Researchtaxapages/Formicidaepages/genericpages/Pachycondyla.chinensis.htm#.WFlxjFMrI2w
  1.  Animal Diversity Web.  Accessed December 23, 2016     http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Pachycondyla_chinensis/
  1.  American Association for the Advancement of Science. Article by Mary Bates, Ph.D.   Accessed December 23, 2016 https://www.aaas.org/blog/qualia/invasive-asian-needle-ants-thriving-spreading-us
  1. Pest and Damage Record Database, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services. http://phpps.cdfa.ca.gov/user/frmLogon2.asp
  1. USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD). Accessed December 23, 2016 https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/
Responsible Party:

Javaid Iqbal,  California Department of Food and Agriculture; 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; Tel. (916) 403-6695; plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period: CLOSED

1/17/2017 – 3/3/2017

Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment:
Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating: A

Camponotus floridanus (Buckley) – Florida Carpenter Ant

California Pest Rating
Camponotus floridanus (Buckley) – Florida Carpenter Ant
Hymenoptera:  Formicidae
Former Pest Rating:  Q
Current Pest Rating: A
Initiating Event:

Camponotus floridanus is intercepted by CDFA and presently has a temporary rating of “Q”. A pest rating proposal is required to determine a permanent pest rating.

History & Status:

Background: The Florida carpenter ant complex is comprised of several species, two of which are common around structures: Camponotus floridanus (Buckley) and Camponotus tortuganus (Emery). These bicolored arboreal ants are among the largest ants found in Florida1. These ants are amorg the most common indoor insect pests; they can be found nesting throughout homes in wooden support pillars, window frames, attics, and wooden structures2 . During the flight season, usually between April and June, carpenter ants can be found in alarming numbers1. Camponotus floridanus nests in existing empty spaces in wood or burrow into soft materials like pithy wood and styrofoam. These ants are primarily nocturnal in their foraging behavior. They have the legs and antennal scapes with numerous long, coarse brown to golden erect hairs that are longer than body hairs. Mating flights of these ants occur in Spring and are triggered by environmental factors such as changes in photoperiod and temperature. Fertilized queens nest under loose bark or wood debris on the ground. Worker ants from the first brood are called minims and they help feed the queen and maintain the nest. Workers have a strong bite and are called “bull dogs” or “bull ants” in Florida. The developmental cycle from egg to adult ranges from 50-70 days2.  The colonies may contain up to 8,000 individuals4.

Worldwide Distribution: There are an estimated 1000 species of Camponotus worldwide4.

US Distribution: There are 25 species of Camponotus in United States and most are native species. Camponotus floridanus is a pest in the southeastern Unites States. This species ranges from North Carolina to Florida and west to Mississippi4.

Official Control: Camponotus floridanus has been listed as a harmful organism in Taiwan and both Australia and Nauru consider all ants (Formicidae) as harmful6 .

California Distribution:  The two most destructive Camponotus species found in California are C. modoc and C. vicinus 5. Camponotus floridanus has never been found in the natural environment of California.

California InterceptionsCamponotus floridanus has been intercepted 20 times between January 1, 2000 and November 2016 through CDFA’s border station inspections, dog teams and red imported fire ant program7.

The risk Camponotus floridanus (Florida Carpenter Ant) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Camponotus floridanus feeds on trees and shrubs infested with honeydew producing insects such as aphids, scales, and mealybugs. These honeydew producing ornamentals, fruit trees and landscape shrubs are grown throughout California. This species also feed on sweet floral nectar and can be found near campgrounds, near soda machines and areas where sweets are readily accessible. floridanus also forages in homes, looking for moisture in kitchens, bathrooms and in other rooms with water leakage from plumbing, around doors and windows1 . It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California:

Score: 2

– Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

– High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Known hosts of Camponotus floridanus include hardwoods, softwoods and structural timber of buildings3. Additionally, this species feeds on honeydew producing trees and shrubs that are grown throughout California3. It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest:

Score: 2

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

– High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Winged males and females of Camponotus floridanus leave the nest in spring –summer and mate. Females establish a nest in suitable wood (loose bark or wood debris on the ground). When mated, the queen rears her first brood in isolation. Carpenter ants can reach alarming numbers during flight season. Typical nests will contain several thousand individuals, have all developmental stages present and can exist for several years3 . These ants can move long distances inside homes, via wall voids, attic insulation and eaves, under bath tubs, windows and door frames, around skylights, in boxes, closets, and under appliances. Queenless satellite nests can be found within 20-100 feet of a mature nest1. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest:

Score: 3

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Camponotus floridanus is active year–round. These are serious house-infesting ants. They do not eat wood but remove it to construct galleries for their nests. These ants can expand their nests into sound wood, wall voids, hollow doors, insulation and compromise structural integrity of homes. Infestations can even occur in new buildings. Worker ants of this species can bite and spray formic acid for defense1. Carpenter ants have been reported preying on grasshoppers, crickets, leafhoppers, honey bees and caterpillars This species could be more injurious to the livestock than existing ant species in California.  In natural settings, fungi can be vectored by carpenter ants. They can hollow out wood that has been softened by moisture or fungi to create nests. This wood include tree stumps, dead tree limbs, or residential structures. These infestations can play an important part in the decomposition of wood5 .It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below:

Economic Impact: B, E, F

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 3

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Camponotus floridanus is not likely to disrupt natural communities, lower biodiversity and change ecosystem processes in California. This species also does not directly impact any threatened species. If it were to become established, however, homeowners would need additional private treatments. Direct treatment of nesting sites, baits, spraying in forage areas like trees and shrubs would be needed to eliminate established colonies. Elimination of insect bridges, caused by trees and shrubs touching house exterior, would require professional treatments by pest control operators. Since tree branches and shrubs infested with honeydew producing insects can act as substrate for these ants, removal of these trees would require additional efforts1. It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below:

Environmental Impact:  D

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact:

Environmental Impact Score: 2

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Camponotus floridanus (Florida carpenter ant): Medium (12)

Add up the total score and include it here:

-Low = 5-8 points

-Medium = 9-12 points

-High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Camponotus floridanus has never been found in natural environment in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included:

Score: 0

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

-Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

-Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

-High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (12)

Uncertainty:

At least 15 Camponotus species are known from the state in limited areas. Camponotus floridanus would be likely to impact structures, specifically homes and wood quality if it establishes in the state. There have not been any formal surveys for Camponotus floridanus in California. This species has been intercepted through regulatory pathways by CDFA, but it is possible that it might be present in certain areas of the California.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Camponotus floridanus has never been found in natural environment of California and would likely have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to enter the state.  An “A” rating is justified.

References:
  1. Warner John and Scheffrahn Rudolph H., University of Florida- Entomology and Nematology; Featured Creatures; Florida Carpenter Ant http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/fl_carpenter_ants.htm
  1. Vazquez R.J., Koehler P.G., Pereira R.M., Warner J. and Scheffrahn; UF-IFAS Extension; Publication # SP486C; Florida Carpenter Ants http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN107500.pdf
  1. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Florida Forest Services; Forest Health Publications: Florida Carpenter Ant http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/Forest-Health/Forest-Health-Publications/Insects-and-Diseases/Florida-Carpenter-Ant
  1. Urban and Structural Entomology program at Texas A & M University: Carpenter Ants, Camponotus sphttp://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/urban-pests/ants/carpenter/
  1. Klotz, J.H., Rust, M.K. and Hansen, L. D., University of California, Davis- Statewide IPM Program; Pest Notes: Carpenter Ants http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7416.html
  1. USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT): Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD): Camponotus floridanus https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/PExD/faces/PExDReport.jsp
  1. Pest and Damage Report Database: Plant Heath and Pest Prevention Services: California Department of Food and Agriculture. http://phpps.cdfa.ca.gov/user/frmLogon2.asp

Responsible Party:

Raj Randhawa, 1220 ‘N’ Street, Room 221, Sacramento CA 95814, (916) 403-6617, raj.randhawa@cdfa.ca.gov


Comment Period:  CLOSED

1/11/2017 – 2/25/2017

Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment:
Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating: A

Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger): Little Fire Ant

California Pest Rating
Little Fire Ant: Eli Sarnat, PIAkey: Invasive Ants of the Pacific Islands, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org
Little Fire Ant. Photo by: Eli Sarnat, PIAkey: Invasive Ants of the Pacific Islands, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org
Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger): Little Fire Ant
Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Current Pest Rating:  Q
Proposed Pest Rating: A
FINAL Pest Rating: A
Initiating Event:

Wasmannia auropunctata is regularly intercepted by CDFA and is presently assigned a temporary rating of “Q”.  A pest rating proposal is required to assign a permanent pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundWasmannia auropunctata is a common tramp ant species notorious for its painful and long-lasting sting1.  These tiny ants nest under leaf debris, rotten limbs, stones, in the crotches of trees, in clumps of grass, and behind the sheaths of palms1.  An entire colony can establish inside a macadamia nut shell2.  The ants are highly adaptable and do well under wet or dry conditions and in open or shady areas1.  They feed on honeydew, dead arthropods, small animals, live insects, and forage in homes for oily foods1Wasmannia auropunctata can easily spread long distances hidden in plants, logs, greenwaste, gravel, and even cars2.

Worldwide Distribution: Wasmannia auropunctata is native to a large region that spans from central Argentina to southern Texas4.  From there it has spread throughout the Caribbean, to parts of tropical Africa, and to Hawaii and other Pacific islands4.  It was first found in Florida in 1924 and Hawaii in 19994.

Official Control: Wasmannia auropunctata is listed as a harmful organism by Bermuda, French Polynesia, Japan, and Taiwan3.

California DistributionWasmannia auropunctata has not been found in the environment of California except for possibly in 19374.

California InterceptionsWasmannia auropunctata has been intercepted 46 times by CDFA’s high risk programs and border stations.  Most interceptions have been on cut flowers, fruit, and plants from Hawaii and Florida.

The risk Wasmannia auropunctata would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Wasmannia auropunctata is found primary in warm climates. It has been present in Florida for more than 90 years but has not spread beyond the southern half of the state.  It is native to southern Texas but has not spread. Wasmannia auropunctata will probably be limited to southern and coastal California.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Wasmannia auropunctata is a generalist forager that can feed on a wide variety of sources.  It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Ants are capable of rapid reproduction and can disperse long distances when colonies or queens are moved.  Wasmannia auropunctata receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Wasmannia auropunctata is not expected to lower crop yields or increase crop production costs.  It is listed as a harmful organism by several of California’s trading partners and could cause trade disruptions as a contaminating pest on a wide variety of commodities.  It is not expected to vector other pestiferous organisms.  Wasmannia auropunctata is known to tend honeydew producing insects and may consume parasitoids, disrupting biological control of pests.  They are also known to be attracted to eyes for moisture2.  Stings associated with this behavior sometimes lead to epidemics of blindness in animals2.  This may lead to changes in cultural practices in livestock production.  The ants are not expected to interfere with water supplies.  Wasmannia auropunctata receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Invasive ants such as Wasmannia auropunctata may cause slow, long-term ecological changes that have potential to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  They may also trigger new treatment programs by residents who find infestations and the associated stings and blind pets unacceptable and in the nursery and livestock industries.  This may lead to significant impacts on cultural practices.  Wasmannia auropunctata receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Wasmannia auropunctata (Little Fire Ant):  High (14)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Wasmannia auropunctata is not known to be present in California and receives a Not established (0) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: High (14)

Uncertainty:

There are already other invasive tramp ant species established in California.  These other ants may preclude some of the economic and environmental impacts of Wasmannia auropunctata.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Wasmannia auropunctata is not known to be present in California and is expected to have significant economic and environmental impacts if it were to establish in the state.  An “A” rating is justified.

References:

1 Brooks, Shawn and J.C. Nickerson. Common name: little fire ant.  University of Florida Featured Creatures.  http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/little_fire_ant.htm

2 Little Fire Ant: Wasmannia auropunctata. http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2014/05/2014-LFA-Brochure.pdf

3 USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

4 Wetterer, James K. 2013. Worldwide spread of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Terrestrial arthropod reviews 6: 173-184. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=13&ved=0CGoQFjAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fprofile%2FJames_Wetterer%2Fpublication%2F257645059_Worldwide_spread_of_the_little_fire_ant_Wasmannia_auropunctata_%2528Hymenoptera_Formicidae%2529%2Flinks%2F02e7e5258d69a288fd000000.pdf&ei=2VokVdW3KYfBgwSqwIGYCw&usg=AFQjCNF29YvMf8xw_JFsjIN_lj5aEincAg&bvm=bv.89947451,d.eXY


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on April 12, 2016 and closed on May 27, 2016.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment

Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating: A

Camponotus modoc Wheeler: Modoc Carpenter Ant

California Pest Rating
Camponotus modoc Wheeler: Modoc Carpenter Ant
Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Current Pest Rating:  C
Proposed Pest Rating:  C
FINAL Pest Rating:  C
Initiating Event:

At least one ant hobbyist is selling queen ants of Camponotus modoc in California.1  A pest rating proposal is required to determine future direction on this ant.

History & Status:

Background:  Camponotus modoc is a carpenter ant that inhabits montane forests.2,3  It is a generalist forager on dead and living insects, nectar, fruit juices, and honeydew2.  It nests by excavating galleries in wood such as trees, wood piles, and landscaping materials2.  Colonies may be transported long distances when infested wood is moved.

Worldwide Distribution: Camponotus modoc is native to the western United States and Canada3.  It is not known to have invaded any other states or nations.

Official Control: Camponotus modoc is not known to be under official control in any other states or nations.

California Distribution Camponotus modoc is native to California and commonly found in montane forests.

California Interceptions:  Camponotus modoc was intercepted once by CDFA’s border stations in pine firewood from Nevada.

The risk Camponotus modoc (Modoc Carpenter Ant) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Camponotus modoc is native to and widespread in California and is not likely to establish in parts of the state where it does not already occur. It receives a Low (1) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Camponotus modoc is a generalist forager and is considered a destructive pest when it excavates galleries in wooden structures.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Ants typically have high reproductive rates.  Camponotus modoc has only been intercepted by CDFA once.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Camponotus modoc is already widespread and is not known to have lowered any crop yields or reduced crop values.  Its presence has not disrupted any markets.  It has not changed cultural practices or vectored other organisms.  It is not known to have injured any animals or interfered with any water supplies.  It receives a Low (1) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Camponotus modoc is native to and widespread in California and it has not been found to lower biodiversity, disrupt natural communities, or change ecosystem processes.  It has not affected any threatened or endangered species or disrupted critical habitats.  The ant does trigger additional treatment programs when it infests wooden structures2Camponotus modoc is not known to have impacted cultural practices, home/urban gardening, or ornamental plantings.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Camponotus modoc (Modoc Carpenter Ant):  Low (8)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Camponotus modoc is considered to be widespread and common in California. It receives a High (-3) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Low (5)

Uncertainty:

There is low uncertainty with this ant.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Camponotus modoc is a native ant that is widespread in California and is not reported to have had any negative economic impacts.  It may have limited environmental impacts by triggering new chemical treatments when it infests wooden structures.  No significant impacts are expected from hobbyists trading colonies of this ant within the state, provided that they adequately protect against the escape of colonies or queen ants into urban and rural residential environments.

References:

1 The AntsCanada Global Ant Nursery Project.  http://www.antscanada.com/queen-ants-for-sale/

2 UC IPM: How to Manage Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets: Carpenter Ants:  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7416.html

3 AntWiki: Camponotus modoc  http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Camponotus_modoc


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.


Comment Period:  CLOSED

The 45-day comment period opened on March 9, 2016 and closed on April 23, 2016.


Comment Format:

♦  Comments should refer to the appropriate California Pest Rating Proposal Form subsection(s) being commented on, as shown below.

Example Comment

Consequences of Introduction:  1. Climate/Host Interaction: [Your comment that relates to “Climate/Host Interaction” here.]

♦  Posted comments will not be able to be viewed immediately.

♦  Comments may not be posted if they:

Contain inappropriate language which is not germane to the pest rating proposal;

Contains defamatory, false, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, pornographic, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, discriminatory or illegal material;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination;

Violates agency regulations prohibiting workplace violence, including threats.

♦  Comments may be edited prior to posting to ensure they are entirely germane.

♦  Posted comments shall be those which have been approved in content and posted to the website to be viewed, not just submitted.


Pest Rating:  C