Distribution of Red, Black, and Hybrid Imported Fire Ants in the U.S.

Imported Fire Ants March 09, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF

Imported fire ants are ant species in the genus Solenopsis that can cause serious medical, economic and ecologic problems. They are called imported fire ants because they are not native to the United States.   They were accidentally introduced from South America. Imported fire ants now infest all or parts of 18 states.

The two species of imported fire ants (red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel) and their hybrid are invasive insects.  

Surveys in the imported fire ant infested area of the United States have shown that most of the imported fire ants are red imported fire ants.  Black imported fire ants and the hybrid are found in a more restricted area.

Black Imported Fire Ant


Hybrid Imported Fire Ant


Red imported fire ant*

*this is just a partial display of counties where red imported fire ants have been found.  See Geographic Distribution of Fire Ants.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.