Fire Ants: Where in the World?

Imported Fire Ants April 30, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

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Activity: Where in the World?

Hands-on Exercise: To find where fire ants occur

Overview

Use a Web site to learn about geographic regions and to determine if those regions provide the conditions that are essential for fire ant survival. The web site is: Geographic Distribution of Fire Ants. The students will also indicate on U.S and South America maps the areas where fire ants are found now and where conditions may be too cold for them to survive in the United States.

Objective

Students will learn about the country where red imported fire ants came from originally and the date and location of their arrival in the United States.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Find information about the locations of current and future fire ant infestations (hint: try Geographic Distribution of Fire Ants).
  2. Take a map of the United States and color in red the areas where fire ants are found. Color in blue the areas where it is probably too cold for fire ants to survive.
  3. Also color in the areas of the South America map where the red imported fire ants originated

Wrap-up:

  • Have you ever lived in a state without ants?
  • Imported fire ants are not the only organisms that were intoduced by accident. Can you think of any other pests that were introduced?

Additional Information for Instructors

  • Ask: Have any students in the class lived in a state without ants?
  • Have the students show their maps to their parents.
  • You might also extend the discussion to include the introduction of diseases, plants, animals and other organisms into the country “by accident.”
  •  You may want to refer to the original KIDzANTS Teacher Manual, which was included in the original release of the KIDzANTS Red Imported Fire Ant Youth module developed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
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