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A supercolony is a colony of animals, usually ants, that is so large that animals living in distant nests within the same colony can not directly interact with each other.[1]

A common example of a super colony is the Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile). By studying the ant in its native and introduced ranges, researchers are able to analyzie its success as an invader. Because of a strong bottleneck effect that has decreased genetic diversity in introduced ranges, there has been an increase aggression between spatially separate nests within a supercolony. [2]

Supercolonies are found world-wide with notably large supercolonies in Japan and Southern Europe. One of the largest known supercolonies was located on the coast of Japan and estimated to be home to 306 million worker ants. In Southern Europe, another supercolony home to millions of Argentine Ants was discovered in 2000.[3]

References

1) supercolony. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved March 24 2015 fromhttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/supercolony

2) Tsutsui, N. D. "Reduced Genetic Variation and the Success of an Invasive Species." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97.11 (2000): 5948-953. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

3) Ant colony. (2015, March 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:26, March 25, 2015, fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ant_colony&oldid=652722292


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