The tawny crazy ant (TCA) (Nylanderia fulva) has invaded Gulf Coast region in recent years. First found in Houston in 2002 scattered infestations are now found in all Gulf coast counties extending west as far as the Hill Country. Individual infestations can be huge, spanning kilometers in diameter. This South American species is successful in both natural environments and areas influenced by human presence and disturbance. They develop extremely dense populations where they establish, displacing native ants, many arthropods, and interestingly the imported fire ant that invaded before them. These ants also threaten wildlife more generally. The reduction in the arthropod food base is certain to reduce the success animals like nesting birds, and through sheer numbers these ants may also directly affect the survival of nestlings. Their invasion of Texas nature preserves designed to protect migrating and endangered birds is particularly alarming.
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