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Posted by Tom Lott on November 17, 2002 at 11:32:22:
In Reply to: Leptotyphlops blind snakes posted by LittleLizard on November 16, 2002 at 19:54:17:
However, I am not sure about the basic premise. In my area (S of San Antonio) imported fire ants are extremely abundant but I also see quite a few Leptotyphlops. What was the source of your information that fire ants are affecting this species (any more than anything else) or that these snakes' chemical defenses are ineffective against them?
Given the amount of research going on with the imported fire ant, you would think someone would have looked into the possibility of manipulating pheromones as a means of controling them, just as the Blindsnakes do with native species.
There are other species of Leptotyphlops native within the range of the imported fire ant. There, however, the ants themselves are much more regulated by other biological features of their natural environment. Here, those controlling factors are mostly missing.