IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Red Fire Ant

15th September, 2023 Environment

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement intended.


  • The Red Fire Ant, one of the world’s most invasive species, has been found in Europe for the first time, according to a new study.


  • The Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta), also known as the fire ant or RIFA, is a species of ant native to South America.


  • Red Imported Fire Ant is native to South America but has spread throughout much of the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, China, and Australia over the past century.


  • They can be found in rainforests, disturbed areas, deserts, grasslands, alongside roads and buildings, and in electrical equipment.


  • These insects can be aggressive when disturbed and they have a painful sting, which is irritating to the skin and can cause allergic reactions. The ant can also damage crops and local ecosystems.


  • They show Necrophoric Behaviour, where nestmates discard scraps or dead ants on refuse piles outside the nest.
  • Foraging takes place on warm or hot days, although they may remain outside at night.
  • Workers communicate by a series of semiochemicals and pheromones, which are used for recruitment, foraging, and defence.


  • They are omnivores and eat dead mammals, arthropods, insects, seeds, and sweet substances such as honeydew from hemipteran insects with which they have developed relationships.


Q. Consider the following statements with reference to Red Imported Fire Ant.

a)    It is a species of ant native to South America.

b)   They show Necrophobic Behaviour.

c)    They remain outside at night.

d)   Worker ants communicate by a series of semiochemicals and pheromones.

Which of the statements given above are incorrect?

1)    a and d only

2)    b and c only

3)    a, b and d

4)    None of the above.

Correct Answer: None of the above.