When in an environment shared by many different species there will be constant interaction. Monomorium minimum competes, predates, and invades copious amounts of organisms and their environments. The ant M. minimum has various features that allow it to have influence over other species.


Permission to use image. 2013. Copyright 2013 Ben CarterM. minimum are sometimes harmful to many forms of life such as plants and animals. They like to eat pollen from various flowering plants such as honeydew (Smith 1965, School of Ants 2011). With too many ants constantly overwhelming one plant, they may eventually kill it. These organisms can be detrimental to various species of animals. For instance, M. minimum have harmed freshly hatched bluebirds resulting in the death of these baby birds (Smith 1965). They also eat other insects which makes them predators and carnivores (Smith 1965, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension 2010).


M. minimum can also affect humans and their habitats.  As mentioned on the Habitat page, they can make their way into human households and abide within the wood molding (Smith 1965). The ants are seen as unwanted pests (Smith 1965, School of Ants 2011). They are attracted to different food items within people’s houses such as fruits and meats (Smith 1965). This can be an annoyance to humans because they do not want these insects getting into their food or living within their homes.


M. minimum use their sting in order to keep their competitors from taking their food (Adams and Traniello 1981, School of Ants 2011). They release a toxin which keeps the competition from approaching the food source for a period of time giving the M. minimum more time in order to break the food particle up and gather it (Adams and Traniello 1981).  The use of their sting allows them to have an advantage over other species when in a competitive situation.


One specific species that the M. minimum comes in contact with is Lasius neoniger. Some of the M. minimum run when in the presence of L. neoniger, while other M. minimum continue to remain by the food because they want the resource (Adams and Traniello 1981). When these two species fight for a piece of food, the organism L. neoniger tries to defend and scare away the M. minimum from the desired source. Unfortunately for the L. neoniger, the M. minimum fights back (Adams and Traniello 1981, School of Ants 2011).  The M. minimum leads its defensive attack by using their specialized stinger. This feature harms the L. neoniger and causes an almost immediate bad reaction to the Lasius neoniger (Adams and Traniello 1981).

Permission to use image. 2013. Copyright 2011 Sam Houston

M. minimum also interacts with the species Solenopsis invicta. If these two species are closer together, M. minimum is more likely to take over the S. invicta colonies. If these territories are farther apart, this invasion will be less likely to happen (Rao and Vinson 2007).  M. minimum is also more likely to attack S. invicta territories if they are hungry or in need of a food resource (Rao and Vinson 2007, School of Ants 2011).  In order for M. minimum to take over a population of S. invicta, they just need 30 members (Rao and Vinson 2007). The species M. minimum have dominance over the species S. invicta.


Additionally, M. minimum interacts with Monomorium pharanis. Both M. minimum and M. pharanis leave pheromone paths in order for other ants in their species to find the food they have found (Mashaly 2010). M. minimum will not just follow its own paths but the paths of M. pharanis as well (Mashaly 2010). This could be beneficial to the M. minimum because they could get led to different food sources without a lot of effort on their species' part.


M. minimum have diverse relationships with different organisms. They can gain many benefits from these organisms, however they can also be harmful by these other organisms causing their demises.


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