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Invasive fire ants discovered in Hawai'i Volcanoes NP

A tiny invader has turned up in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, one that not only can be painful to visitors and park staff, but which can also have impacts on the park's ecosystem.

Little Fire Ants, which indeed are tiny, at roughly half the size of a sesame seed, can inflict painful bites that might linger for weeks. They also invite "plant pests such as aphids, white flies and scale insects, which secrete plant sap that the ants eat. In turn, the ants protect these insects from natural predators and parasites," the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council notes. "They may sting, and even blind, pets such as cats and dogs. In the Galapagos, they eat tortoise hatchlings and attack the eyes of adult tortoises."

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