Category Archives: Hymenoptera

Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius): Tropical fire ant


California Pest Rating Proposal for

Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius): Tropical fire ant
Current Rating: Q
Proposed Rating: A


Comment Period: 01/30/2023 – 03/16/2023


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Posted by tn

Anoplolepis gracilipes (Fr. Smith): Long-legged ant


California Pest Rating Proposal for

Anoplolepis gracilipes (Fr. Smith): Long-legged ant
Current Rating: Q
Proposed Rating: A


Comment Period: 01/30/2023 – 03/16/2023


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Posted by tn

Anagyrus callidus Triapitsyn, Andreason & Perring Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae


California Pest Rating Proposal for

Anagyrus callidus Triapitsyn, Andreason & Perring Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae
Pest Rating: D


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Posted by ka

An Ant | Pheidole dentigula

California Pest Rating  for
An Ant | Pheidole dentigula
 Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Pest Rating: A

PEST RATING PROFILE

Initiating Event:

Pheidole dentigula was frequently intercepted in 2016 and 2017 by CDFA and requires a pest rating proposal to support an official pest rating.

History & Status:

Background: Pheidole dentigula is a common ant found in leaf litter and rotting stumps in mesic forests of the southeastern United States. They can be recognized in the field by the tendency of the major workers to have orange-colored gasters1.

Pheidole dentigula is associated with moisture-retentive microhabitats and nests in soil and rotten stumps3

map for Pheidole dentigula distribution

Worldwide Distribution: Pheidole dentigula is known from the United States and Central and South America. In the United States, it is reported from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas3.   

Official Control: Pheidole dentigula is not known to be under official control in any states or nations, but the genus Pheidole is listed as a harmful organism in Japan and Republic of Korea5.

California Distribution: Pheidole dentigula has never been found in the environment of California.

California Interceptions: Pheidole dentigula was intercepted 18 times in 2015, 2016, and 2017 by CDFA’s border station and nursery regulatory inspections. Interceptions were typically on plants or plant material imported from the southeastern infested States4.

The risk Pheidole dentigula would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Pheidole dentigula is found in moisture-retentive microhabitats, including rotten stumps and accumulations of leaf litter in forests. Riparian areas in California would be suitable for this ant and it could establish in a limited area in California. It receives a Low (1) 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: Pheidole dentigula feeds on dead insects, dead leaves, and decaying fruit. 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: There is little information available on the biology of Pheidole dentigula. Other members of the genus are known to have multiple queens and are capable of producing large numbers of eggs. Because this may be true for this species, P. dentigula 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: Pheidole dentigula is not expected to lower crop yields or increase crop production costs. It is not expected to disrupt any markets for Californian agricultural commodities. It is not expected to change cultural practices or vector other pestiferous organisms. These ants could injure livestock if established in California. It receives a Low (1) in this category.

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

Economic Impact:  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: 1

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: Pheidole dentigula is not likely to disrupt natural communities, lower biodiversity, or change ecosystem processes in California. This species does not directly impact any threatened species. However, it is likely to trigger new treatments by residents if it invades homes in search of food and water. 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.

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 Pheidole dentigulaMedium (10)

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

 –High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Pheidole dentigula has never been found in the 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: Medium (10)

Uncertainty:

There have not been any formal surveys for Pheidole dentigula in California. This species has been intercepted through regulatory pathways multiple times and can be transported on commodities. It is possible that it might be present in certain areas of California, but if so, it has escaped detection.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Pheidole dentigula has never been found in the environment of California.  If it were to establish in the state, this ant may have an environmental impact in riparian and wetland areas of California. Other species of this genus have multiple queens and have proved invasive in areas where they are introduced. Given these considerations, an “A”-rating is justified, especially as there is a chance of excluding it.


References:
  1. Ants (Formicidae) of the Southeastern United states by Joe McGowan. Accessed November 4, 2017.      http://mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/Researchtaxapages/Formicidaepages/genericpages/Pheidole.dentigula.html#.Wfn2_ltSzA4
  2. Ant web. Accessed November 4, 2017. https://www.antweb.org/description.do?name=dentigula&genus=pheidole&rank=species&project=allantwebants
  3. School of Ants. Accessed November 4, 2017.  http://www.schoolofants.org/species/2155
  4. 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
  5. USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD). Accessed December 23, 2016  https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

Author:

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

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov


Comment Period:* CLOSED

4/13/18 – 5/28/18


*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;

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

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

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Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls 

Tawny Crazy Ant | Nylanderia fulva

Some Tawny Crazy Ants

California Pest Rating  for
Tawny Crazy Ant | Nylanderia fulva
Hymenoptera:  Formicidae
Pest Rating: A  

PEST RATING PROFILE

Initiating Event:

Several Nylanderia species have been intercepted 31 times in 2017 by CDFA through various regulatory pathways. Nylanderia fulva, the tawny crazy ant is an invasive species that has invaded the southern states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia (Wang et. al, 2016). Nylanderia species have been rated as Q.  A pest rating proposal is needed to assign a permanent rating.

History & Status:

Background:  Ants in the genus Nylanderia are relatively small, pale yellow to black. Nylanderia fulva in the U.S. were originally identified as Paratrechina sp. cf. pubens and later revised to N. fulva. The true N. pubens is also an invasive pest, but is apparently restricted to southern Florida. Worker ants of these two species cannot be distinguished morphologically, so clear identification requires examination of male specimens.

 Nylanderia fulva is also known as the crazy ant due to its quick and erratic movement. It is a small, reddish brown ant that forms huge colonies, and is a serious nuisance pest. (MacGown and Layton, 2010). Nylanderia fulva infests buildings and greenhouses. This ant can attack domestic animals, honeybee hives, and several crop plants; it can also displace native ant species (Hill et.al, 2013). It can aggregate in large numbers in electrical equipment and cause short circuits or clog switching mechanisms, resulting in equipment failure.

The Tawny crazy ant is a social insect usually found in large numbers that lives in large colonies and seem to be indistinguishable from each other. Males and workers are similar in size while queens are larger. Colonies contain many queens, workers and brood (larvae and pupae). Pupae are naked (without cocoons). Colonies periodically produce winged male and female forms called sexuals, alates or reproductives. Foraging activity begins in spring and worker populations increase dramatically in density by mid- summer. (Nestor, 2002)

Worldwide Distribution:

Nylanderia fulva is native to South America, specifically southern Brazil and northern Argentina along the border of Uruguay and Paraguay (Kumar et. al., 2015). It has established in Anguilla, Bermuda, Colombia, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Hill et. al., 2013)

In the United States, it was first recognized as N. fulva near Houston, Texas in 2002, but this record is preceded by previous misidentifications as N. pubens in Florida. Currently, Nylanderia fulva has become established in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

Official Control: Nylanderia fulva has not been listed as a harmful organism in any U.S. states or other nations (PCIT, 2018).

California DistributionNylanderia fulva has never been found in the natural environment of California.

California InterceptionsNylanderia species were intercepted 107 times between July 2013 and January 2018 by CDFA through detection surveys, border stations, dog team inspections, and high-risk pest exclusion activities.

The risk Nylanderia fulva (tawny crazy ant) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Nylanderia fulva is omnivorous and its foraging trails widens  as the temperature rises to 20°C. Foraging activity begins in spring and worker density can increase to millions during July – August and the number of ants remain high throughout fall. Nests can occur in leaf litter, soil, rotten logs, under potted plants, under rocks and along underground electrical circuits (Sharma et al., 2014). California’s climate and habitat would be suitable for occurrence of nests and rapid increase in          populations. 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: Nylanderia fulva worker ants tend plant-feeding hemipterous insects such as aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, mealy bugs and others that excrete honeydew. Workers are also attracted to sweet parts of plants including nectaries, and damaged and over-ripe fruit. They also consume other insects and small vertebrates for protein (Nestor, 2002). These hosts can be found throughout California. 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: Nylanderia fulva queens lay single, white, ovoid-shaped eggs that incubate for approximately 16 days. The larvae that emerge pass through three (workers) or four (males) instars and the larval stage lasts about 11 days. Workers carry pupae to the nest where they are piled into mounds. Adults emerge from pupae after 12 days. Nuptial flight activity has not been recorded until recently. New findings have confirmed that alate males fly throughout the year but females are produced only once a year (Wang, et al., 2016). Colonies spread by budding with breeding occurring at the periphery. The annual rate of spread by ground migration is about 20-30 m per month in industrial areas and about 207 m per year in rural landscapes (Nestor, 2002). Nylanderia fulva can be transported long distances by the movement of infested material including garbage, yard debris, compost, potted plants and bales of hay transported by truck, railroad and airplane. 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: Nylanderia fulva, in large numbers, can become a nuisance and make human activities uncomfortable and difficult. Infestations can extend to sidewalks, buildings and gardens. These ants are capable of biting small livestock, causing them to die of asphyxia and can attack large animals around their eyes, nasal fossae and hooves. Their foraging and nesting behavior can cause short circuits in electrical equipment. Since this species feeds on the exudate of hemipteran insects, it can result in the disruption of biocontrol and cause losses from increased crop damage. This species has been reported to destroy honey bee hives in Texas by consuming brood, and then colonizing the hive (Harmon, 2009). 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, 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: 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: Nylanderia fulva is likely to reduce biodiversity of other animals, both invertebrates and vertebrates. Larger ant populations have forced ground and tree nesting birds and other small animals to move out of the area (LeBrun et. al, 2013). Masses of these ants covering the ground and trees can cause wildlife to move out of the area. Ecological impacts by fulva include reduction in arthropod diversity, particularly native ant species. This ant can undoubtedly impact ecosystems in its adventive range and has the potential to cause cascading ecological impacts (Wang et al., 2016). Large infestations may be difficult to control and would need professional pest control services to treat affected areas. 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

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: 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 Nylanderia fulva (tawny crazy 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: Nylanderia fulva (tawny crazy ant) has never been found in the 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 (14)

Uncertainty:

Five species of Nylanderia are native to the southwestern United States including California. Nylanderia fulva has a potential to overlap with these native species. Since this species is currently established in the southeastern states mentioned above, any host material coming from those areas could potentially contain N. fulva. The presence of only a few workers in incoming samples can also make it difficult to identify Nylanderia to species level because males are needed to positively identify N. fulva.  Detection surveys in California would likely aid in the early detection of this invasive ant.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Nylanderia fulva has not been recorded in the 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:

Harmon, K. 2009. Honeybees Face New Threat in Texas: “Crazy” ants. Accessed 1/25/18.  (http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=honeybees-face-new-threat-in-texas-2009-08-07).

Hill, S.K., Baldwin, R.W., Pereira, R.M. &  Koehler, P.G., 2013. Tawny Crazy Ant. Publication # SP486D, University of Florida, Accessed 1/26/18 http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN107600.pdf.

Kumar, S., LeBrun, E.G., Stohlgren, T.J., Stabach, J.A.,McDonald, D.L., Oi, D.H. &  J.S. LaPolla. 2015. Evidence of niche shift and global invasion potential of the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva. Ecol. 5, 4628–4641

LeBrun, E. G., Abbott. & L. E. Gilbert. 2013. Imported crazy ant displaces imported fire ant, reduces and homogenizes grassland ant and arthropod assemblages. Biological Invasions 15: 2429-2442.

MacGown, J. A. & B. Layton. 2010. The invasive Rasberry crazy ant, Nylanderia sp. near pubens (Hymenoptera:  Formicidae), Midsouth Entomologist Vol 3: 1:  441- 47. Accessed1/26/18. http://midsouthentomologist.org.msstate.edu/Volume3/Vol3_1_html_files/vol3_1_008.htm

Nestor, P.R. 2002. Tawny (Rasberry) Crazy Ant. Center for Urban and Structural Entomology. Texas A & M Agrilife Extension. Accessed 1/25/18.  http://bugwoodcloud.org/resource/files/6305.pdf

Pest and Damage Record Database. Pest Prevention and Plant Health Services. CA Department of Food and Agriculture. Accessed 1/24/18. http://phpps.cdfa.ca.gov/user/frmLogon2.asp

Sharma, S, Warner, J and R.H. Scheffrahn, 2014. Featured Creatures. Tawny Crazy Ant. Nylanderia fulva. Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. Accessed 1/25/18.  http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/tawny_crazy_ant.htm

USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD). Accessed 1/24/18. https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/PExD/faces/PExDReport.jsp

Wang, Z., Moshman, L., Kraus, E.C., Wilson, B.E. Acharya N., and Diaz, R., 2016. A Review of the Tawny Crazy Ant, Nylanderia fulva, an Emergent Ant Invader in the Southern United States: Is Biological Control a Feasible Management Option? Department of Entomology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA; Accessed 1/24/18. www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/7/4/77/pdf


Author:

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

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov


Comment Period:* CLOSED

4/12/18 – 5/27/18


*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;

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  


Posted by ls 

Compact Carpenter Ant | Camponotus planatus

California Pest Rating  for
Compact Carpenter Ant | Camponotus planatus
Hymenoptera:  Formicidae
Pest Rating: A

 


PEST RATING PROFILE 

Initiating Event:

Camponotus planatus has been intercepted 34 times in 2018 during January and February at various CDFA border stations during inspection of vehicles entering CA. Recently, multiple live ants of this species have been intercepted at on a trailer entering Blyth inspection station (PDR # BL0P06743971). The trailer was carrying a load of bee colonies, originating from Florida. Camponotus planatus has temporary rating of “Q”.  A pest rating proposal is required to determine a permanent pest rating.

History & Status:

BackgroundCamponotus planatus is a small polymorphic ant. It is primarily an arboreal species, but it is increasingly becoming a structural pest in Florida. These ants feed on drops of honey dew from exterior walls of structures, trees, shrubs, along sidewalks and through lawns. This ant species is a day-active ant; therefore, they are observed more than nocturnal carpenter ants. (University of Florida)

Camponotus planatus have colonies with a single queen. Queens start new colonies and care for the first larvae until they develop into workers. Workers in turn begin to forage for food and to care for the queen, new eggs and the larvae. Colonies continue to grow for 2-5 years. Newly winged reproductives, known as Alates, are observed from spring to fall. (University of Florida)

The most common habitats of Camponotus planatus include hollow twigs, empty spaces in trunks of trees, dead wood, old termite galleries and leaf axils of palm (Deyrup 1991)

Worldwide DistributionCamponotus planatus is widely distributed in Cuba, and from Mexico to Columbia. In United State, it is well established in parts of Florida including Sarasota in Tempa, East Miami (Deyrup, 1991), Texas and Hawaii. These ants have also been reported in Fort Myers in Lee county, Coconut Groves areas in Dade county, Hillsborough ,Manatee, Monroe, Orange  and Sarasota counties areas in Miami, Florida (Warner and Scheffrahn, 2017).

Official Control: Camponotus has been named as a harmful organism in Namibia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and Taiwan (PCIT)

California DistributionCamponotus planatus has never been found in the natural environment of California.

California InterceptionsCamponotus planatus was intercepted 28 times between January 2014 and October 22, 2017 by CDFA at various border station during inspection of vehicles entering California.

The risk Camponotus planatus (compact carpenter ant) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Camponotus planatus has been found in tropical moist forests, wet lowland forests and tropical rain forests of the world. This species commonly feeds on honey dew from structural walls with surface temperatures of up to 37-degree Celsius. (University of Florida). Many Camponotus species are found in foothill and mountain communities of California. (Pest of Homes, Structures, People and Pets, UCANR Publication). 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: Camponotus planatus live in hollow tree twigs, old termite galleries, dead wood, voids in tree trunks and leaf axil bases in palms. These habitats can be found throughout California. 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: Camponotus planatus develops by complete metamorphosis by going through egg, larva, pupa in silk cocoon and adult stages. Single queen starts new colony of male, female and worker ants. This colony can continue to grow for 2-5 years. Once the colony is mature, it produces winged adults that go for mating flights between spring and fall. Colony size can be up to 10000 worker ants. Long distance spread of this species can be caused by movement of fire wood. 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 planatus has been found in a nursery in   Mississippi that specializes in palms (Arecaceae) and makes nests towards uppermost part of palms. There are nurseries in the south coast of California that produce and sell palm trees. The crop quality and value can be impacted if this species were to get establish in the state. Camponotus planatus may also be a significant predator of native ants and other arthropods. Camponotus planatus is not only likely to become a nuisance pest of exterior buildings but it can also enter the buildings through structural cracks and crevices. It has been reported to protect honeydew producing insects (MacGown 2014). It receives a High (3) in this category.

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

Economic Impact: A, D, E

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 planatus is reported to exert ecological pressure on native ants. In natural ecosystem, carpenter ants play an important role by decomposing wood back into soil (Harris & Berry, 1994). Since this species is mainly a pest of structures and wood, it could significantly impact cultural practices like trimming of tree branches close to structures, sealing of potential entry points, increasing ventilation to damp areas and storing firewood away from structures and off the ground. It receives a High (3) in this category.

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

Environmental Impact: A, 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.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact:

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 Camponotus planatus (compact carpenter 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: Camponotus planatus (compact carpenter ant) has never been found in the environment 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 (14)

Uncertainty:

Camponotus planatus is being intercepted regularly at various border station of California. Even though it has not been found in the natural environment, it can likely be introduced from south eastern states especially Florida, Texas and Hawaii. Since various Camponotus species are found in California, it is possible that C. planatus may be present in some areas especially in palm growing nurseries in southern California.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

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


References:

Ant Wiki, Assessed 10/23/2017  http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Camponotus_planatus

Ant Key ID Guide. Introduced ants. Camponotus planatus. Assessed 10/23/2017  http://antkey.org/en/taxa/camponotus-planatus

Ant Web: Assessed 10/24/2017  https://www.antweb.org/description.do?genus=camponotus&species=planatus&rank=species&countryName=Mexico

Deyrup MA. 1991. Exotic Ants of the Florida Keys (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on the Natural History of the Bahamas. 21 pp.

Deyrup, M.  2003. An updated list of Florida ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida Entomologist 86: 43-48.

Harris, Richard & Berry Jo. 1994. Invasive Ant Threat. Information Sheet Number 2: Camponotus Mayr. Biosecurity New Zealand. Assessed 10/25/2017  https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/51009/2.pdf

H. Klotz, Dept. of Entomology, UC Riverside; M. K. Rust, Dept. of Entomology, UC Riverside; and L. D. Hansen, Dept. of Life Sciences, Spokane Falls Community College.

Pest Notes: Carpenter Ants. UCANR Publication 7416, UC Statewide IPM Program, UC Davis. Assessed 10/25/2017  http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7416.html

MacGown Joe, Camponotus planatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), an Exotic Carpenter Ant Found in Mississippi, Mississippi Entomological Museum, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, Assessed 10/25/2017  http://mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/Researchtaxapages/Formicidaepages/ant.publications/Camponotus_planatus_MacGown2010.pdf

MacGwon, Joe. A. 2014. Ants (Formicidae) of the southeastern united states. Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University. Assessed 10/25/2017.

http://mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/Researchtaxapages/Formicidaepages/genericpages/Camponotus_planatus.htm#.WfJLnE2WzL8

USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD). Assesses 10/24/2017 https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/pcit/

Warner, John and Scheffrahn, Rudolph. 2017. Featured Creatures: Camponotus planatus. University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology. Assessed 10/24/2017 http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/c_planatus.htm


Author:

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

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov


Comment Period:* CLOSED

4/11/18 – 5/26/18


*NOTE:

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Pest Rating: A

 


Posted by ls 

Difficult White-Footed Ant | Technomyrmex difficilis Forel

­California Pest Rating for
Three White-Footed Ants
Photo by Alexander Wild Photography. Click on image for photo citation.
Difficult White-Footed Ant | Technomyrmex difficilis Forel
Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Pest Rating: A

PEST RISK PROFILE

Initiating Event:

Technomyrmex difficilis is currently Q-rated.  A permanent pest rating proposal is required to support an official pest rating.

History & Status:

Background:  Technomyrmex difficilis is a small (2.5-3 mm in length) ant that is mostly dark brown in color with distinctively paler tarsi (Warner et al., 2016).  There are other potentially harmful species in the genus that look very similar, and microscopic examination of minute characters is necessary for a specific diagnosis (Wetterer, 2008; Wetterer, 2013).  This ant feeds on plant nectar, honeydew (a sugary liquid produced by plant sap-feeding insects), and dead insects or other protein-rich foods (Warner et al., 2016).  This and other Technomyrmex species may protect plant-feeding Hemiptera and thus be agricultural pests (Deyrup, 2016; Samways et al., 1982).  Technomyrmex difficilis occurs in man-made (urban and residential areas) and natural (e.g., forest) environments and appears to be most abundant in disturbed and coastal areas.  Nests can be found in leaf litter, in trees (in tree holes or under bark), and in buildings (in wall cavities or attics) (Wetterer, 2008).  This ant often occurs in large numbers, and although it does not bite or sting and it has not been reported to cause structural damage to buildings, it is an annoyance to homeowners (Warner et al., 2016).

Worldwide Distribution:  Technomyrmex difficilis is probably native to Madagascar.  It has been introduced to Asia (including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines), Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, and the United States, where it has been reported from Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington, Washington D.C., and Florida (Deyrup, 2016; Warner et al., 2016; Wetterer, 2008; Wetterer, 2013).

Official Control: This ant does not appear to be under official control anywhere.

California Distribution:  Technomyrmex difficilis is not known to occur in California (Essig Museum of Entomology holdings database; Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network; Wetterer, 2013).

California Interceptions:  Technomyrmex difficilis has been intercepted on fruit (grapefruit and longan) and miscellaneous goods from Florida (PDR # BL0P06126651, 430P06002358, 010P06220447, WHOPO6180098, 010P06220393, 070P06223950, BL0P06612374, NE0P06374846, NE0P06655880, WH0P06181195, 190P06619841, and NE0P06654767), cut flowers and leaves from Hawaii (PDR # 100P06282884, 190P06619904, 410P06325136, 410P06325130, and 100P06282591), and a bee colony from Texas (PDR # VL0P06677067).

The risk Technomyrmex difficilis would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Technomyrmex difficilis has become established in many different parts of the world, but (with the exception of greenhouses, zoos, and other artificial environments in temperate areas) it appears to be limited to areas with a tropical or sub-tropical climate. It is possible that it could become established in a larger, but limited part of California.  Therefore, Technomyrmex difficilis receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– 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: Technomyrmex difficilis is known to feed on nectar, honeydew, and a variety of protein-rich foods, which could include insects and other animals. Therefore, it receives a High (3) in this category.

– 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 females and males are produced by the colony each year.  They fly, copulate, and establish new colonies.  Movement of infested landscaping plants may be an important means of artificial dispersal (Warner et al., 2016).  Therefore, this ant receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– 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: Technomyrmex difficilis is reported to protect plant sap-feeding insects, including mealybugs, from natural enemies.  Another species of Technomyrmex was reported to protect the scale Aonidiella aurantii, which became abundant enough to cause defoliation of citrus trees (Samways et al., 1982).  Technomyrmex difficilis could have the same impact in California, and this could lower crop yield and increase production costs.  Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Economic Impact:  A, B

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.

5) Environmental Impact: Ants of the genus Technomyrmex have been shown to be capable of having positive and negative impacts on plants.  An example of a possible positive impact is feeding on herbivorous insects, thus protecting the plant.  An example of a possible negative impact is tending (feeding on honeydew produced by, and protecting from natural enemies) herbivorous insects, such as mealybugs, which would hurt the plant.  This suggests that these ants could disrupt natural communities; they could for instance, facilitate the invasion of an ecosystem by an introduced plant through feeding on herbivorous insects (Lach et al., 2010).  The species albipes was shown to have “supercolony” characteristics by Dejean et al. (2010); members from widely-separated colonies recognized each other, which could give this species a competitive advantage.  Technomyrmex difficilis could behave similarly.  Therefore, 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.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

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 Technomyrmex difficilis: Medium (11)

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: Technomyrmex difficilis is not known to occur in California.  It receives a Not established (0) in this category.

–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:

7) The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (11)

Uncertainty:

This ant has been confused with the very similar T. albipes.  Both T. difficilis and T. albipes have been widely introduced, neither are known to occur in California, and they probably pose a similar economic and environmental threat to the state (Wetterer, 2008; Wetterer, 2013).  Because of the confusion between T. difficilis and other Technomyrmex species, the distribution and impact of T. difficilis as it is currently understood may be an underestimate (Wetterer, 2013).

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Technomyrmex difficilis is not yet known to occur in California.  It has demonstrated an ability to become established and abundant in a variety of habitats.  It poses a threat to California’s agriculture and environment.  For these reasons, an “A” rating is justified.


References:

Dejean, A., Fisher, B.L., Corbara, B., Rarevohitra, R., Randrianaivo, R., Rajemison, B., & Leponce, M.  2010.  Spatial distribution of dominant arboreal ants in a Malagasy coastal rainforest: Gaps and presence of an invasive species.  PLoS ONE.  5(2): 1-7.

Deyrup, M.  2016.  Ants of Florida.  CRC Press.  437 pp.

Essig Museum of Entomology holdings database.  Accessed February 27, 2018.

https://essig.berkeley.edu/data/databases

Lach, L., Tillberg, C.V., & Suarez, A.V.  2010.  Contrasting effects of an invasive ant on a native and an invasive plant.  Biological Invasions.  12: 3123-3133.

Samways, M.J., Nel, M., & Prins, A.J.  1982.  Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) foraging in citrus trees and attending honeydew-producing Homoptera.  Phytophylaciica.  14: 155-157.

Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network.  Accessed February 27, 2018. http://scan1.acis.ufl.edu

Warner, J., Scheffrahn, R.H., & Cabrera, B.  2016.  White-footed ant, Technomyrmex difficilis (=albipes) Forel (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dolichoderinae).  Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF/IFAS Extension.  https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN55100.pdf

Wetterer, J. K.  2008.  Technomyrmex difficilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the West Indies.  Florida Entomologist.  91(3): 428-430.

Wetterer, J.K.  2013.  Worldwide spread of the difficult white-footed ant, Technomyrmex difficilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).  Myrmecological News.  18: 93-97.


Author:

Kyle Beucke, 1220 N Street, Room 221, Sacramento, CA, 95814, 916-403-6741, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov


Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov


Comment Period:* CLOSED

3/2/18 – 4/16/18


*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;

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


Posted by ls