Fire ant origin

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaInvasive fire ants plague most of the Southeast, rooting out native species and delivering blistering bites to whatever gets in their way. Amazingly they all likely came from fewer than a dozen stowaways that landed in Mobile, Ala., in the mid-1930s, says a University of Georgia researcher.Using a bit of genetic sleuthing, Kenneth Ross, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural Environmental Sciences, tracked the lineage of this notorious Southern pest. What he found surprised him.“Most didn’t make it over on the boat,” Ross said. “When we look at the area around Mobile, the most probable number of queens is seven, eight, nine and at the minimum six.”Ross worked to determine the number of queen ant colonizers with his former student DeWayne Shoemaker, who now works at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Fla. They also used the genetic markers to pinpoint where the invasive fire ants, known scientifically as Solenopsis invicta, originated. Formosa, in northeast Argentina, looks to be the source population.“In textbooks, they were saying Brazil,” he said, “but those ants look nothing genetically like the ones we have here.”The Argentine queens set out on their journey accidentally, he said, either in soil or by landing on boats after their spring mating flight. Fighting invasivesBy tracing the U.S. fire ant population back to Argentina, scientists can determine how fast and how far other fire ant colonies can grow. Currently, Solenopsis invicta fire ants cover most of the central part of South America.This information, Ross said, can help with the development of effective management practices based on the biology of an invasive species. It can help researchers predict other species’ invasive potential, too.Since moving out of Alabama, the Argentine fire ants have spread like wildfire. Georgia got its first colonies in the 1950s. On their own, the ants have traveled as far north as North Carolina and as far west as Texas. With a little help, such as in nursery pots and soil, they have travelled as far as California.Five years ago, they landed in China, stowing away from the U.S. “The fire ants are hopscotching along,” he said. The Solenopsis invicta is also found in Australia and the Philippines. Despite prevention efforts, Ross predicts the fire ants will spread to even more tropical and semitropical countries in the next decades. Stacks of researchOwing to the fire ant’s status as a major pest throughout much of the South, an enormous amount of research has been conducted on the basic biology of the species over the past 40 years, Ross said.Fire ants have had a large negative impact on ground-nesting birds and insects. They’ve also driven out native species of fire ants, such as Georgia’s Solenopsis xylomi. On the positive side, fire ants feed on agricultural pests in cotton, and their presence is associated with a decrease in the tick population. They also eat dead animals and any insects they can catch.Fire ants tend aphids, which produce a substance the ants feed on called honeydew. Because the ants favor aphids and protect them from natural predators, ants are known as indirect pests, specifically in pecan production.last_img read more

New Zealand’s longest-married couple celebrate 100 years

first_imgStuff.co.nz 24 May 2016Family First Comment: Our longest married couple are both 100 years old this year – Mr this month, and Mrs beginning of next month. Two letters from the Queen!So that makes them the OLDEST & the LONGEST married couple in NZ The country’s longest-married couple are about to notch up yet another milestone.Together for 81 years, Jeram and Ganga Ravji of Mt Roskill were named New Zealand’s longest-married couple by lobby group Family First earlier this year.Now they are about to become a couple of centenarians.On June 6 Ganga Ravji will turn 100 – barely a month after her husband.Four generations of the family now live in New Zealand but the path to a century has not been an easy road for the couple.READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/love-sex/80266967/new-zealands-longest-married-couple-celebrate-100-years.adaptive.htmlKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Jaguars bundle out Scorpions for 106 on opening day

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Leaders Guyana Jaguars resumed the Regional Four-Day Championship in the same manner they ended it at the Christmas Break, by dominating the opening day of the eighth round match against Jamaica Scorpions here yesterday.Opting to bowl first at Sabina Park, they bundled out Scorpions for 106 and then reached 75 for three at the close – 31 runs adrift of the lead heading into day two. .The three-time defending champions were heading to the close strongly at 57 for one but lost two quick wickets to lose some of their momentum.Sent in earlier, Scorpions folded meekly, with Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood and wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas getting the joint top score of 24.They were two of four batsmen in double figures but the only ones to pass 15.Scorpions were undermined by returning West Indies left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer (3-21) and fellow pacer Keemo Paul (3-15) who grabbed three wickets apiece.Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul extended his healthy form with two for 25.Scorpions were in early trouble when they lost John Campbell for one, with two on the board in the third over, but Blackwood anchored two small stands to revive the innings.He put on 29 for the second wicket with Assad Fudadn (11) and a further 27 for the third with Brandon King (13).Once he perished, however, the last six wickets tumbled for 43 runs in quick time.Jaguars too stumbled early when Akshaya Persaud fell without scoring in the second over of the innings but Chandrapaul Hemraj counter-attacked with 47 off 53 balls to repair the damage.The left-hander struck eight fours and a six, adding 53 for the second wicket with captain Leon Johnson who made 13.However, both fell in the space of nine balls in successive overs, as Scorpions hit back late on. SCORPIONS 1st inningsJ. Campbell b Paul 1A. Fudadin c wkp. Bramble b Joseph 11J. Blackwood lbw b Permaul 24B. King c wkp. Bramble b Reifer 13P. Palmer c Paul b Reifer 7F. Allen stp. Bramble b Permaul 0A. Thomas not out 24D. Green c wkp. Bramble b Reifer 0D. Jacobs b Paul 8N. Miller c wkp. Bramble b Paul 2R. Leveridge run-out 0Extras: (b-5, nb-11) 16Total: (all out, 36.2 overs) 106Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-31, 3-58, 4-63, 5-67, 6-69, 7-69, 8-86, 9-90.Bowling: Paul 8.2-3-15-3, Joseph 8-2-39-1, Permaul 10-3-25-2, Reifer 9-2-21-3, Persaud 1-0-1-0.JAGUARS 1st inningsC. Hemraj c Green b Miller 47A. Persaud lbw b Leveridge 0L. Johnson c Palmer b Green 13V. Singh not out 10S. Chanderpaul not out 3Extras: (b-1, l-b1) 2Total: (3 wkts, 22 overs) 75Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-57, 3-63.Bowling: Green 6-1-24-1, Leveridge 7-1-22-1, Blackwood 2-0-8-0, Miller 6-2-16-1, Campbell 1-0-3-0.Position: Jaguars trail by 31 runs with seven wickets intact.last_img read more

Tesla’s enhanced autopilot to arrive before New Year

first_imgBreak the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Related Posts David Curry 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…center_img Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot update should start to arrive on new Model S and X cars before the New Year, according to tweets from CEO Elon Musk.The update provides customers that picked the Enhanced Autopilot add-on, which costs $5,000, with most of the original Autopilot features. That includes an automatic steering, lane change, parking, emergency braking, collision avoidance, and remote summon.Looks like we might be ready to rollout most of Autopilot functionality for HW2 towards the end of next week— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2016It doesn’t sound like a valuable add-on, but Tesla plans to add new functionality to the Enhanced Autopilot every month in 2017, while the original Autopilot is abandoned.Musk claims that the Autopilot neural net appears to be working well, but said company would need “a lot time to validate in a wide range of environments.” That testing should hopefully prevent another fatal accident, like the one in August.Tesla has a murky roadmap to full autonomy, which should come between 2018 and 2020. The next year, the electric vehicle supplier will begin adding more self-driving features to the Model S and X cars, bringing it to Level 3 or 4 autonomy.See Also: Would it make sense for Tesla to buy Lyft?At the same time, the company will start manufacturing the Model 3, an affordable electric vehicle for “the masses”. The Model 3 is expected to have an Enhanced Autopilot feature, again for $5,000, though it might be priced lower.In his “Master Plan, Part Deux,” Musk hinted at Tesla possibly launching a fleet of driverless taxis in major cities in the next few years. Ford has also hinted at doing this, leading some to believe the auto industry is moving from direct sale to lease or taxi services. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags:#Autonomous car#AutoPilot#Elon Musk#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#Tesla last_img read more