Giant Ant Colony Spreads Across World

Insects from different continents treat each other as family
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2009 2:10 PM CDT
Ants may have gone through a global dispersion, like humans.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – In what may be a first for the animal kingdom, one giant family of ants has established itself in different parts of the world, the BBC reports. Researchers studying the species known as Argentine ants in Europe, the US, and Japan found that they had a strikingly similar chemical profile, suggesting a familial relation. They also wouldn't fight one another.

When introduced, the ants from different continents dropped their usual territorial aggressiveness and rubbed antennae together, as if they were from the same local colony. Researchers suspect the ants are indeed family, branches of which were inadvertently spread by humans. Such a global diaspora rivals only human civilization in its breadth.