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The use of biological methods to control snail populations is gaining more and more attention.The observation of the fire ant Solenopsis geminata predating on the eggs of the apple snail Pomacea canaliculata suggest a possible role for this ant as a biological agent for the apple snail pest.They can have a very negative impact on the local ecology, as they predate on many species.
These male and female ants posses wings and after leaving the colony, the only thing they do is mate.
The male ants die, while the females look for a good place to start a new colony.
The ants damage egg clutches and transport the eggs one by one to their nest.
Of they cannot capture the complete eggs, they destroy the eggs capsule and collect the yolk and the embryo.
To achieve satisfying results in terms of snail population control with this ant, a large number of ants should be able to enter the rice field.
Therefore, irrigation and drainage have to be adapted to allow the ants to reach the apple snail eggs.
The common name 'fire ant' is used for many species of ants of the genus Solenopsis.
This is not without reason, as their stings cause an intense, burning pain.
The colony of the fire ant consist of 3 types of ants: the queen, the soldiers and the minor workers. The large (3-5mm) and robust soldiers or major workers defend the colony and assist the minor workers in carrying food to the nest.
The queen produces the eggs and lives deep inside the nest. The major workers are distinguished from the minor workers by their square sheped head with strong, powerful mandibles (jaws).
The minor workers, which are a bit smaller than the major workers, do most of the daily work: they collect the food, maintain the nest, take care of the larvea and the queen.