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Classroom Projects
Will the Harvester Ants Invade the Argentine Ants Territory?

Monroe Elementary School
Teacher: Annemari Goldsmith
Scientists: Dr. Duncan Menge and Dr. John Parker

Argentine ants migrated from Argentina and invaded native harvester ants. We wanted to study whether or not the chemical odors given off by Argentine ants would stop harvester ants from migrating. This could tell us something about competition between the two species.

We used ant farms, tubes, raisins, water, sand, the ants, and the pencil and books. John and Duncan, our scientists, scented one of the ant farms with Argentine ants. Then we connected the tubes and added harvester ants to the non-Argentine scented ant farms. We recorded the number of ants in the log books every day to see how long it would take the harvester ants to move into the Argentine scented ant farms.


A majority of the students had an incorrect hypothesis that the harvester ants would move slowly into the Argentine ants territory. The harvester ants moved quite quickly into the Argentine scented farms. On average,
it took only five days for the ants to even out between the two farms.

We had placed harvester ants in one of the tanks and in the other left the scent of Argentine ants and waited to see what would happen when we connected the farms together. We found that the harvester ants would do anything they have to do to get more territory for their colony. This result is interesting because it is the other way around in