|Image 2 (CREDIT: Joe MacGown, Mississippi Entomological Muse)|
Fire ants, specifically the red imported fire ant, are an invasive species. They were introduced in the 1930’s in Alabama and they spread like wild fire. There is also a native red fire ant in the southwestern region of the US, but its range is fairly limited. The red imported fire ant spread and invaded the entire south and can out compete or co-exist with the southwestern native fire ant, depending on the circumstances. The native red fire ant isn’t all too much of a nuisance, but the imported red fire ant is more invasive and environmentally elastic than the native red fire ant, so it has a tendency to be more intrusive upon humans and other ants, thus making it an invasive species(Jacobson et al, 2006).
|Image 3 (CREDIT: James F. Lubner, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, Bugwood.org|
There is at least 1 more level above super invasive. I say this for humans belong in a category all their own. This makes the current ultimate invasive species humans. It has been simply said that we are the ultimate invasive, because there isn’t anyplace on earth that we won’t be capable of inhabiting at some point. Many people have struggled with this idea and it comes up in the media over and over again. For example, the New York Times has published a blog on it entitled “The ultimate invasive species”, where they conclude that humans are indeed the greatest invasive species there has ever been(Revkin, 2011). It makes sense, for we have unbounded ingenuity and can overcome any obstacle if given enough time. We have affected more species in a negative manner than any other species on earth, we can decide to obliterate a species at any moment(except microbes, for now) with some collateral species, and we are the reason that other invasive species exist. Therefore, our species is responsible for their invasive damage as well as our own damages. This power over all other species must indeed mean that we are the current ultimate invasive species.
There is a tier above invasive species which could be called super invasive and beyond that there must be at least one more tier of invasive species for the ultimate invasive species tier is above the super invasive species tier. Thus it follows that there is some sort of rule that will explain the trend in theory, even if it isn’t exactly right in real life. This means that for every 100,000 species introduced, 10,000 will survive, 1,000 will establish, 100 will become invasive, 10 will become a super invasive, and 1 is the ultimate invasive species, humans, for we introduced ourselves into new environments many times throughout history. Like I said, this relationship could take almost any form, I am just using the pre-existing one for extr
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Jacobson, A. L., Thompson, D. C., Murray, L., & Hanson, S. F. (January 01, 2006). Establishing guidelines to improve identification of fire ants Solenopsis xyloni and Solenopsis invicta. Journal of Economic Entomology, 99, 2, 313-22.
Main, D. (May , 17th 2013). 'crazy’ ants driving out fire ants in southeast. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/34488-crazy-ants-beat-fire-ants.html
Revkin, A. (March, 1st 2011). The ultimate invasive species?. Retrieved from http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/the-ultimate-invasive-species/