Now available! Texas Invasives App

A new iPhone and Android app that can help you identify and report invasive species in your community is now available. 

The app replaces the TX Invaders app used by the Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Program to identify and report invasive plants. It features added functionality to detect, identify and report other invasive species, including insects, animals and pathogens. 

The app was made possible by a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Horned Lizard License Plate Grant, with additional support from the Texas A&M Forest Service and United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

In the coming month, the public will have opportunities to learn about the new tool through two comprehensive webinars. If would like to join the September 22nd webinar, register here. If you are interested in the September 25th webinar, please register here

To download the TX Invasives app for Android devices visit the Android Play Store.

To download the TX Invasives app for Apple iOS devices, visit the iTunes App Store.

Invaders of Texas Funding for 2015: Growing the Sentinel Pest Network

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was awarded Farm Bill funding to continue and grow the Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Citizen Scientist Program. The award supports the statewide partnership to address invasive species by funding public education efforts, including free workshops and webinars.

The team and cooperators are excited to continue the partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction and spread of Invasive Species. 

Follow this link to learn more about the FY14 Farm Bill.

Invasive Spotlight:
Tawny Crazy Ant
(Nylanderia fulva)

Tawny crazy and was first found in Houston (Harris County) in 2002 and has since spread to many counties in eastern Texas, First identified as Nylanderia sp. nr. pubens, the species is now known as Nylanderia fulva

Tawny crazy ants could be suspected if you detect many uniformly sized, 1/8 inch long ants with reddish-brown coloration in your landscapes, including foraging indoors from outdoor nests. The ants form loose foraging trails and also forage randomly, which earns them the title as "crazy". 

The ants form colonies under objects in the outdoor landscape, including rocks, timbers and debris piles, among other things. A good distinguishing nest trait from other ants is that they do not build centralized mounds and do not emerge from nests through central openings. 

In infested areas, large numbers (millions) of crazy ants cause a great annoyance to residences and businesses. They also tend to accumulate in electrical equipment, causing short circuits. 

The ants threaten wildlife, such as birds by covering the ground and trees and will cause wildlife to move out of the area. Very little is known about other impacts to wildlife in the United States. If you observe tawny crazy and infestations, or witness wildlife impacts please Report It

Recently, the tawny crazy ant has been detected in Alabama, where it was suspected to have been introduced by human activity. To learn more, visit the Montgomery Adviser

Follow this link to learn more about tawny crazy ant.
Photo credit: Bastiaan Drees, Texas A&M University

Image credit: Center for Urban & Structural Entomology, Texas A&M University
More News

Caddo Lake Weevil Greenhouse Begins Production
After fundraisers, much hard work and research the Greater Caddo Lake Association of Texas is opening the Morley Hudson Weevil Greenhouse which will begin to raise the giant salvinia weevil. After weevils reach a certain weight, they will be released into designated sections of Caddo Lake to control giant salvinia. Learn more by visiting The Marshall News Messenger.

Scientists Warn Against Adoption of 'Novel Ecosystems' by Policy Makers
Novel ecosystems arise when human activities transform biological communities through species invasions and environmental change. An international team of scientists have published a new journal article warning against adoption of novel ecosystems as the "new normal" by policy makers and ecologists using data-deficient assumptions and catchy schematic figures. Instead, the scientists call for applying principles of conservation and restoration that have been developed and proven using empirically tested science. Learn more by visiting

Florida Seeks Invasive Plant Coordinator
Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) is seeking applicants for an Invasive Plant Coordinator position. It is advertised as a great job for someone interested in facilitating program involvement with the invasive plant community, including the Florida Invasive Species Partnership and Florida's Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs).  Learn more the open position by visiting Florida Natural Areas Inventory

Commander Ben Brings the Fight to Invasive Species at Texas Military Muster Days
The Texas Military Forces Muster Days trace its roots back to a time when Texas was still a republic and troops were 'mustered', or called to report to their base. Over the years, this event has evolved into a public open house where participants can learn about military history. This year, Commander Ben and other invasive species fighters deployed to muster days to teach visitors about the biological conflict against invasive species. Learn more by visiting Commander Ben

Kudzu and Other Invasive Plants Implicated in Global Warming
According to a publication in New Phytologist submitted by Clemson University plant ecologists, invasive plants can accelerate the greenhouse effect by releasing carbon stored in soil into the atmosphere. Researchers estimate that kudzu releases 4.8 metric tons of carbon annually, equal to the amount of carbon stored in 11.8 million acres of U.S. Forests. Learn more at Science 2.0

Lionfish Observed to be Tireless "Terminator-like" Hunters
Scientists studying lionfish impacts to native fish in the Atlantic and Caribbean are saying their unusual hunting tactics are harming ecosystems more than originally thought. Where other fish quit stalking difficult prey and turn their attention to easier targets, the lionfish are observed to never give up and continue to track the prey until successfully killed. Learn more at Tech Times.

Texas Gulf Region Cooperative Weed Management Area Fights Brazilian Peppertree
As part of a grant to address Brazilian peppertree on Mustang Island, the City of Port Aransas and partners held a workday in Port Aransas on July 16th. The workday, held in conjunction with a cooperative weed management area meeting demonstrated control methods for the invasive tree. Learn more at the Port Aransas South Jetty or visit the Texas Gulf Region CWMA webpage

Florida Residents Passionate About Invasive Species
A new public opinion survey by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has shown that Floridians would likely support a 1% sales tax increase to prevent and eradicate invasive species. The survey also indicated that residents believe they are not as knowledgeable about endangered and invasive species as they would like to be. Learn more by visiting the University of Florida

USDA Releases Final Video in Hungry Pests' Series
As the closing act of this year's series of the Hungry Pest video campaign, the last feature focuses on ways that international travelers can keep destructive, invasive pests from spreading to the United States. Please take a few minutes to learn how to bring home happy memories, and leave hungry pests behind. To learn more visit YouTube

Invasive Species Go Both Ways: Exotic Species Invade Chinese Province
Chinese researchers and biologists are sounding the alarm against popular practice in south China's Guangdong province of buying and releasing exotic animals into the natural environment. More than 150 exotic species have invaded the province, costing losses of some ten billion yuan (hundreds of millions, in US dollars) in the province and damaging biodiversity and ecosystems. Learn more at ECNS News

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to

Citizen Scientists of the Month
Guadalupe Invaders

The Guadalupe Invaders are the newest satellite group added to the Invaders of Texas network. Led by the Guadalupe Texas Master Naturalist Chapter, satellite members also include Master Gardeners, Native Plant Society and interested members of the public. 

A main focus of the Guadalupe Invaders will be a new 47-acre property recently acquired by the City of Seguin, that will eventually become a new city park, complete with a skate park, playground, athletic fields and a dense strip of forest around the eastern, northern and southern edges. The group will inventory the new park for invasive plants and begin their removal. 

Welcome, Guadalupe Invaders!

If you would like to highlight a successful invasive species project or nominate a special person to be highlighted in an upcoming iWire, please send the details to


Photo Credit: Marilyn Anderson, Texas Master Naturalist Guadalupe Chapter

Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scientists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops include information on the Sentinel Pest Network which serves to increase the awareness of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.

Workshops are tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.

We have funding from USDA APHIS and the Texas A&M Forest Service for more workshops in the upcoming months, so schedule your free workshop, today!

Upcoming Workshops:

Friday, September 12, 2014
Location: Texas A&M AgriLIFE Research Center (Weslaco, TX)
Contact: Barbara Storz

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Location: River Legacy Living Science Center (Arlington, TX)
Contact: Registrar

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Location: Austin Downtown REI Store (Austin, TX)
Contact: Joanna Wolaver

Saturday, January 17, 2014
Location: High Island Volunteer Fire Department (High Island, TX)
Contact: Richard Gibbons

For more information or to register to attend a workshop, please visit the Workshop Page.