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Posted by LittleLizard on November 17, 2002 at 13:21:40:
In Reply to: Interesting question posted by Tom Lott on November 17, 2002 at 11:32:22:
: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?
Purely anecdotal , can't remember where I read that they were being affected -***damn My bad memory***-
: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.
Actually this is what started my whole train of thought. Blind snakes eating ants & their eggs & larvae. Could they be used in some way to control the foreign fire ant? Whatever it is that protects them from native ants, could that be used against these dreaded ( & in my case hated)invading foreign fire ants?
: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.
I would think that this whole topic would be worthy of a controlled scientific study. But I'm just a layman with no science background just a normal curiosity about such things... hey you collegiate herpers, this could be worthy of further study.