Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Voter Guide

Ant ‘Super Colony’ Could Endanger San Diego’s Local Ecology

Audio

Tom Fudge: Humans don't tend to have a good relationship with ants. We think of them as the creatures that crash our picnics and make unsightly mounds in our gardens. At the worst they can be large, aggressive and pack a stinging bite. The ants that most of us have in our back yards are not large. But they are quite aggressive. That's why they have generally taken over the local ecology.

The ants I'm referring are similar to most of the people around here, in that they're not native to San Diego. In the case of the ants, they come from Argentina. They do very well here, due to urban irrigation. In fact they wouldn't survive if San Diego were still a coastal desert. But today they are so successful that they're formed what biologists call a "super colony" across much of our state. Being successful in the wild, of course, means killing off the competition. So that raises the question of whether this invasive species has been good or bad news for our environment.

Guest

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.