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You are here: Home / Animals / Species Profiles / Red Imported Fire Ant
Species Profiles

Red Imported Fire Ant

Red Imported Fire Ant

Scientific name: Solenopsis invicta Buren, 1972 (ITIS)

Synonym: Solenopsis wagneri Santschi (ITIS)

Common name: Red imported fire ant

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Selected Resources

Native To: South America (Jemal and Hugh-Jones 1993)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Probably between 1933 and 1945 (Jemal and Hugh-Jones 1993)

Means of Introduction: Possibly introduced in ships' ballast (Fitzpatrick et al. 2007)

Impact: Can attack and cause painful stings on humans, pets, and livestock (Jemal and Hugh-Jones 1993)

Current U.S. Distribution:




Selected Resources:

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Citrus Pests - Red imported fire ant
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.
See also: Citrus Resource

Pacific Invasive Ant key (PIAkey): Identification guide to ants of the Pacific Islands - Solenopsis invicta
USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Texas Invasives Database - Solenopsis invicta

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Red Imported Fire Ant; RIFA
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Solenopsis invicta
CAB International.

Plantwise Technical Factsheet - Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta)
CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Global Invasive Species Database - Solenopsis invicta (insect)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

Agricultural Research Service Research Program: Invasive Species Success Stories
Includes success stories for: Asian longhorned beetle, glassy-winged sharpshooter, fire ants, fruit flies, melaleuca, saltcedar and yellow starthistle.

Hungry Pests: The Threat - Imported Fire Ant
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Plant Pests and Diseases Program: Insects - Imported Fire Ant
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

International Government

Weeds, Pest Animals and Ants: Fire Ants
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.

Invasive Animals: Restricted Invasive Animals - Fire Ant
Queensland Business and Industry Portal (Australia).

State Government

Pest Profile - Red Imported Fire Ant
California Department of Food and Agriculture. Plant Health Division. Pest Detection/Emergency Projects Branch.

Oregon Pest Alert: Red Imported Fire Ant (PDF | 2.1 MB)
Oregon Department of Agriculture.
See also: Pest Alerts for more pests

Imported Fire Ants
Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Fire Ant Suppression & Eradication
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Plant and Pest Services.


Imported Fire Ants
Note: Educational partnership of more than 70 universities; provides local customized information (requires free registration)

Alabama Fire Ant Management Program
Auburn University (Alabama). College of Agriculture. Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas (PDF | 1.60 MB)
University of Arkansas. Cooperative Extension Service.
See also: Urban Entomology/Pest Management in Arkansas for more factsheets

Pest Notes: Red Imported Fire Ant
University of California. Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.
See also: Pest Notes are peer-reviewed scientific publications about specific pests or pest management topics, directed at California's home and landscape audiences.

EDIS Topic - Red Imported Fire Ants
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source - publication resources

Insects: Fire Ants
Mississippi State University. Extension Service.

Red Imported Fire Ant in North Carolina
North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension.

Fire Ants
Oklahoma State University. Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
Note: Maps of potential range expansion for the red imported fire ant in Oklahoma and the United States

Imported Fire Ants in Tennessee
University of Tennessee Extension.

Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management
Texas A&M University. Entomology.


Invaders of the Sonoran Desert Region - Red Imported Fire Ant
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.


Fitzpatrick, M.C., J.F. Weltzin, N.J. Sanders, and R.R. Dunn. 2007. The biogeography of prediction error: why does the introduced range of the fire ant over-predict its native range? Global Ecology and Biogeography 16(1):24-33.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Solenopsis invicta. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Jemal, A., and M. Hugh-Jones. 1993. A review of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) and its impacts on plant, animal, and human health. Preventative Veterinary Medicine 17(1-2):19-32.

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Last Modified: Sep 15, 2018
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