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90 more fire ants found at Hakata Port following initial discovery

A fire ant (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of the Environment)
In this 2014 file photo, the central dock of Hakata Port is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter. (Mainichi)

FUKUOKA -- Roughly 90 fire ants have been found at Hakata Port where the invasive species were spotted earlier, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

    The first army of fire ants was found on July 21 on an artificial island in Fukuoka's Higashi Ward. Several dozens of them were spotted in a dent in asphalt near containers shipped from Nansha Port in China's Guangdong province. It was the first confirmation of fire ants anywhere in the Kyushu region, and the Fukuoka Municipal Government subsequently launched an additional search.

    As a result, approximately 30 more fire ants were found on July 22, some 50 on July 23 and another 10 or so on July 24 -- all of which were discovered near the location where the first batch was found on July 21.

    According to the Kyushu Regional Environment Office, the cargo owner reported on July 24 that fire ants were not found inside the containers.

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