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The Costa del Sol, a popular holiday destination with Britons, is in Andalusia in southern Spain. The region is known for its stunning coastline and warm climate, attracting millions of tourists annually. Now, it seems the Costa del Sol has attracted a new type of visitor.
A new ant called Paratrechina longicornis also known as the “crazy ant” has been spotted in two new spots on the Costa del Sol.
Director of the Cabinet for Nature Studies (GENA) and Ecologists in Action Rafael Yus first saw the species earlier this summer in someone’s home.
Mr Yus noticed that the ants looked different compared to the ones normally found in the region.
The biologist explained to Diario Sur how the ants appeared to move “extremely quickly” when they were threatened and made “erratic movements” in their retreat.
He sent a sample off to Granada Unvierisut to expert Dr Alberto Tinaut.
This is when he found out that it was indeed the “crazy ant”.
Mr Yus explained that it was the first recorded sighting of the ants in the region of Axarquia and the second in the province of Malaga.
Axarquia is a region of Andalusia and lies just east of Malaga.
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The region is home to the popular Torre del Mar and Nerja.
The ants are very small and do not bite or sting humans.
However, they could become a pest as they are attracted to food and fruit which means they will invade homes and crops if necessary.
They usually eat live or dead insects and honeydew which is a sugar-rich liquid secreted by small sap-sucking insects or “aphids”.
The “crazy ant” is one of the most widespread species of ant in the world.
It is considered to be a pest both indoors and outdoors depending on the climate.
Mr Yes added: “It is a very adaptable species, able to live in both dry and humid environments, but it prefers warm areas, which explains why it has tried in the Axarquia.”
“Their nests are difficult to find, often in cracks in walls or under stones, and often far from where they are found.”
In the summer months, ants tend to be attracted to homes as they search for water, heat or food.
In recent months, Britons returning from Spain to the UK have had to self-isolate for 14 days.
The Canary Islands is exempt from this rule and is on the UK’s travel corridor list.
Currently, England is in lockdown which means Britons cannot travel anywhere in the UK or abroad unless it is for an essential reason.
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