PerspectiveEcology

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

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Science  28 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6174, pp. 974-975
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251272

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Summary

In Nature's marketplace, there are many ways to compete. Most species carve out a niche where they are particularly effective at turning resources into offspring. Others play a more dangerous game: They win not by outcompeting their adversaries but by killing them. Sometimes this is as simple as applying a little poison. On page 1014 of this issue, LeBrun et al. (1) reveal how the tawny crazy ant (Nylanderia fulva), newly arrived to the United States from South America, may be ending the more than 60-year reign of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), a competitor armed with a powerful alkaloid venom. The crazy ant's secret? It knows the antidote.

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