It goes without saying that termites are prey to anteaters and aardvarks. There are many mammalian species that treat termites as food, including humans. Of course termites must also battle-it-out with several species of their fellow insects as well. Unlike many ant species, most termite species are not considered aggressive in nature. Termites focus their energies more on defense rather than attack. This makes termites vulnerable to many different insects. Luckily for termites, their highly populated colonies operate as superorganisms that can survive event the most devastating of predatory attacks. Most other insect predators do not form colonies that could be considered superorganisms, therefore termites continue to thrive within their native environments. However, ants also form large colonies that are considered to be superorganisms. This makes ants a major threat to termites. The invasive ants known as Argentine ants are especially dangerous to termites. Recently, a group of insect experts from a pest technology publication conducted thorough research into Argentine ant predation on termite life. The experts also compared the relative property and environmental damages that both of these species cause in America each year. This research was conducted in order to finally determine which of these insects would win-out as the most devastating type of insect pest.
Although insect pests like bed bugs and cockroaches can be problematic, two particular entomologists, one working with the National Pest Management Association, both believe that eastern subterranean termites and Argentine ants are the most damaging insects in America, but which one would survive when competing in the same region? One of the entomologists, Dr. Mike Bentley, believes that termites would win-out over Argentine ants due to their ability to survive devastating ant attacks. Termite population numbers are hard for even the largest of Argentine ant colonies to decimate. However, the entomologist from the NPMA believes that the Argentine ant’s ability to move fast and navigate a region’s terrain competently makes them the ultimate champions in a potential turf-war. The aggressiveness of Argentine ants cannot be matched by any termite species, but the competition between these two species is reminiscent of the “classic offense versus a classic defense” situation, says Bentley. This makes determining a winner between the two species difficult for even the most educated of experts.
Do you think that a winner between these two species would be easily determined by taking into account the ecosystem where the interspecies competition would take place?