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Posted Fri Feb 25 2011: from ScienceDaily:
Global Red Fire Ant Invasions Traced to Southern US
Red imported fire ant invasions around the globe in recent years can now be traced to the southern U.S., where the nuisance insect gained a foothold in the 1930s, new University of Florida research has found. Native to South America, the ant had been contained there and in the southeastern U.S. before turning up in faraway places in the last 20 years -- including California, China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.... The research team used several types of molecular genetic markers to trace the origins of ants in nine locations where recent invasions occurred. They traced all but one of the invasions to the southern U.S. The exception was an instance where the ants moved from the southeastern U.S. to California, then to Taiwan. Ascunce said the scientists were surprised by the findings. "I thought that at least one of the populations in the newly invaded areas would have come from South America, but all of the genetic data suggest the most likely source in virtually every case was the southern U.S.," she said. The study results show the problematic side of a robust global trade and travel network.
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'Doc Michael says:
If we pass an invasive species on elsewhere, are we half as much at fault, or doubly?

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