Danny Wahlquist Wordpress Blog

August 9, 2012

New stinging ant breed discovered in county | www.chesterfieldobserver.com | Chesterfield Observer

Filed under: Uncategorized — dannywahlquist @ 5:25 pm

  The Asian needle ant has a dark brown body and lighter legs and antenna tips.   Michael Likins The Asian needle ant has a dark brown body and lighter legs and antenna tips. Michael Likins A crew from the county’s Environmental Engineering department was clearing out a logjam in a drainage culvert last month when workers inadvertently disturbed a nest of ants.

It didn’t take long for the county employees to realize that these were no ordinary ants. Four workers received multiple and painful stings; one was stung severely enough to require an injection with an EpiPen.

Mike Likins, director of the county’s Cooperative Extension office, received a sample of the ant in question in his laboratory late last month. Four days later, he confirmed the presence of a new breed of insect in Chesterfield – the Asian needle ant.

According to Likins, records indicate that the insect entered the U.S. in the 1930s or earlier in DeKalb County, Ga. Anecdotal evidence traces its arrival in Virginia to Newport News in the 1940s.

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