Crazy Ants Killing Christmas Island Crabs
Discovery Communications, March 30, 1999
Killer ants on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean are decimating the island's world-renowned crab population. During the past 18 months, the ants have killed 3 million crabs by digging down into the crab's burrows, where they kill and eat them. The "crazy ants" - so called because of their frenetic movements - are attacking the crab population at a phenomenal rate, according to Monash University ecologist Dennis O'Dowd. "I've never seen a single invader have so much impact in such a short time," said O'Dowd, who is doing a long-term study of the crabs. The crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, is believed to have been introduced to the island by West African traders about 50 years ago.