A species of Argentine ant introduced into Europe about 80 years ago has developed the largest supercolony ever recorded.
It stretches 6,000 kilometres – from northern Italy, through the south of France to the Atlantic coast of Spain – with billions of related ants occupying millions of nests.

While ants from rival nests normally fight each other to the death, ants from the supercolony have the ability to recognise each other and co-operate – even if they come from nests at opposite ends of the colony’s range.