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Poisonous South American Ant Invading Inland Japan

By July 12, 2017 at 2:19 am

A highly poisonous ant, Hiari or Solenopsis invicta, so far found only at a few ports, is now traced inland, 30 km inside Nagoya Port, July 10. The Hiari was found in a warehouse in Kasugai City and the city and state environmental authorities alerted the residents not to come into contact with the poisonous adventive species.

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The container alleged to have carried the ant to Nagoya Port had come from Nansa Port via Hong Kong, landed at Nagoya Port and traveled 30 km inland to Kasugai City.

The Ministry of Environment says this is the first case of Hiari ever located inland and that the chances are the ants have not yet settled. Container operators are required to take all possible measures to prevent the adventive species from advancing farther inland.

The prefectural office reports eight more ants were found alive inside the container back from Kasugai and five dead in the warehouse in Kasugai. The ministry is checking if these extra ants are Solenopsis invicta or not.

The Kasugai City warns its citizens in the city HP to stay away from ants suspected to be Solenopsis invicta.

Director Koichi Uemura of the Kasugai City's environmental preservation division remarks:

"The ant was found and caught in a warehouse this time. We urge the citizens never to come into contact with ants that are suspected to be Hiari or Solenopsis invicta.

"The city will make doubly sure to provide all available data."

Meanwhile, the subsidiary of a leading electrical manufacturer where the ants were found will reportedly fumigate the parts carried in the ant-stained container and have every corrugated carton incinerated. The parent company swears that all relevant official orders be fully followed up to control further spread of Hiari in Japan.(Nathan Shiga) 

Source: NHK

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