Invasion of the 'Killer Frogs' and the 'Crazy Ants', Killing Off their Native Cousins

Two stories of species invading the Southwest and killing off their dominate cousins have been making the news in May of 2013. Clawed Frogs with killer fungus and Crazy Aunts bumping off native fire aunts. 

Killer Frogs

SFSU biologist Vance Vredenburg, PhD, who is the lead author of the study on the frog plague, says that a fungus is to blame. It was brought in from clawed African frogs. "California's Yellow frog and an astonishing 40 percent of all frogs worldwide are being drive to extinction in three decades," reports KTVU News. Regarding the Africa Clawed frogs, Doctor Vredenburg states: "They don't even show signs of disease and yet they're infected. What are they doing different than these native species here in California?"

Crazy Ants
"Invasive “crazy ants” are displacing fire ants in areas across the southeastern United States, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. It’s the latest in a history of ant invasions from the southern hemisphere and may prove to have dramatic effects on the ecosystem of the region.
The “ecologically dominant” crazy ants are reducing diversity and abundance across a range of ant and arthropod species — but their spread can be limited if people are careful not to transport them inadvertently, according to Ed LeBrun, a research associate with the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences
The study by LeBrun and his colleagues was published in Biological Invasions.
“When you talk to folks who live in the invaded areas, they tell you they want their fire ants back,” said LeBrun. “Fire ants are in many ways very polite. They live in your yard. They form mounds and stay there, and they only interact with you if you step on their mound.”
LeBrun said that crazy ants, by contrast, “go everywhere.” They invade people’s homes, nest in crawl spaces and walls, become incredibly abundant and damage electrical equipment."
- University of Texas at Austin

Read the rest of this story here: utexas.edu/news

Story source: ktvu.com   

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