Ant attack

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No sooner have we got used to the Colorado beetle attacking our potatoes and the idea of malaria-bearing mosquitoes making a permanent home in Britain as a result of global warming, we now learn that the biggest insect-organism in the world may be about to crawl all over us.

No sooner have we got used to the Colorado beetle attacking our potatoes and the idea of malaria-bearing mosquitoes making a permanent home in Britain as a result of global warming, we now learn that the biggest insect-organism in the world may be about to crawl all over us.

Billions of ants of Argentine origin have created the planet's biggest "super organism" in Europe, a network of communicating worker ants spanning a distance of more than 3,700 miles. The problem is that the extreme spirit of cooperation that is displayed by the South American species Linepithema humile is so formidable that it threatens to wipe out 20 species of indigenous European ant. It is an appalling prospect. The entomologists are trying to find ways to make the Latin ants fight among themselves. We must hope they succeed; the empire of the ant must not be allowed to prevail.

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