Origin & Distribution of Little Fire Ants
LFA come from?
Little Fire Ants (LFA) are native to Central and South America, east of the Andes. Through genetic analysis, we are able to tell that LFA found in Hawaiʻi originated from LFA populations in Florida likely introduced by the import of nursery plants. It was first reported in Puna on the Big Island in 1999, but is now widespread though East Hawaiʻi, with populations in isolated areas of all districts, as well as neighbor islands.
Through trade, LFA has been spreading around the world for over 100 years to parts of North America (Florida and California), West Africa (Gabon and Cameroon), the Middle East (Israel), Australia, the Caribbean (Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico), and many Pacific islands, including Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, the Solomon Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Galapagos.
In Hawaiʻi, LFA have been detected on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui, and Lānaʻi. Visit http://stoptheant.org/ for more details on where LFA have been detected on each island.