Liang, Xiao-song; Zhang, Qiang; Zhuang, Yiong-lin; Li, Gui-wen; Ji, Lin-peng; Wang, Jian-guo; Dai, Hua-guo
A field study was made to investigate the trapping effects of different attractants, traps, and wind directions on Solenopsis invicta. The results showed that among the test attractants, TB1 (50 g fishmeal, 40 g peptone, 10 ml 10% sucrose water solution and 20 ml soybean oil) had the best effect, followed by TB2 (ham), TB6 (100 g cornmeal and 20 ml soybean oil) and TB4 (10 ml 10% sucrose water solution, 100 g sugarcane powder and 20 ml soybean oil), with a mean capture efficiency being 77.6, 58.7, 29 and 7.7 individuals per trap, respectively. No S. invicta was trapped with TB3 (10 ml 10% sucrose water solution, 100 g cornmeal and 20 ml soybean oil) and TB5 (honey). Tube trap was superior to dish trap, with a trapping efficiency of 75.2 and 35 individuals per trap, respectively. The attractants had better effects in leeward than in windward.
Chen, Yin-Cheng; Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng-Jen
This study was designed to understand the effects of the interspecific competition between red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren and two native ant species, Pheidole fervens Smith and Monomorium chinense Santschi, by conducting colony interference and individual confrontation tests under laboratory conditions. The colony interference test showed that both native ant species, owing to their numerical advantage, killed the Solenopsis invicta virus-1 (SINV-1)-infected or healthy queens of S. invicta. Significantly less time was required for M. chinense to kill all SINV-1-infected S. invicta compared with the time required to kill the healthy S. invicta. Compared with healthy S. invicta, SINV-1-infected S. invicta spent a longer time eliminating the P. fervens colonies. In confrontation tests, M. chinense killed a significantly higher number of infected S. invicta minors than they did healthy minors, but the number of S. invicta majors (either infected or healthy) killed was substantially less. This study found that the viral infection weakened the competitive ability of S. invicta and made them prone to be eliminated by M. chinense but not by P. fervens.
Interactions between the solitary endoparasitoid, Meteorus gyrator (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and its host, Lacanobia oleracea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), infected with the entomopathogenic microsporidium, Vairimorpha necatrix (Microspora: Microsporidia).
Down, R E; Smethurst, F; Bell, H A; Edwards, J P
Infection of Lacanobia oleracea (Linnaeus) larvae with the microsporidium Vairimorpha necatrix (Kramer) resulted in significant effects on the survival and development of the braconid parasitoid, Meteorus gyrator (Thunberg). Female M. gyrator did not show any avoidance of V. necatrix-infected hosts when they were selecting hosts for oviposition. When parasitism occurred at the same time as infection by the pathogen, or up to four days later, no significant detrimental effects on the parasitoid were observed. However, when parasitism occurred six to eight days after infection, a greater proportion (12.5-14%) of hosts died before parasitoid larvae egressed. Successful eclosion of adult wasps was also reduced. When parasitism and infection were concurrent, parasitoid larval development was significantly faster in infected hosts, and cocoons were significantly heavier. However, as the time interval between infection and parasitism increased, parasitoid larval development was significantly extended by up to two days, and the cocoons formed were significantly (c. 20%) smaller. Vairimorpha necatrix spores were ingested by the developing parasitoid larvae, accumulated in the occluded midgut, and were excreted in the meconium upon pupation.
Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina) with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide nat...
Wurm, Yannick; Wang, John; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana
Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some ants, such as the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, are also major pests. Here, we present a draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from Roche 454 and Illumina sequencing reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothe...
Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D; Calcaterra, Luis A
Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina) with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide natural, sustainable control of this ant. RNA was purified from worker ants from 182 S. invicta colonies, which was pooled into 4 groups according to location. A library was created from each group and sequenced using Illumina Miseq technology. After a series of winnowing methods to remove S. invicta genes, known S. invicta virus genes, and all other non-virus gene sequences, 61,944 unique singletons were identified with virus identity. These were assembled de novo yielding 171 contiguous sequences with significant identity to non-plant virus genes. Fifteen contiguous sequences exhibited very high expression rates and were detected in all four gene libraries. One contig (Contig_29) exhibited the highest expression level overall and across all four gene libraries. Random amplification of cDNA ends analyses expanded this contiguous sequence yielding a complete virus genome, which we have provisionally named Solenopsis invicta virus 5 (SINV-5). SINV-5 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus with genome characteristics consistent with insect-infecting viruses from the family Dicistroviridae. Moreover, the replicative genome strand of SINV-5 was detected in worker ants indicating that S. invicta serves as host for the virus. Many additional sequences were identified that are likely of viral origin. These sequences await further investigation to determine their origins and relationship with S. invicta. This study expands knowledge of the RNA virome diversity found within S. invicta populations.
Steven M Valles
Full Text Available Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide natural, sustainable control of this ant. RNA was purified from worker ants from 182 S. invicta colonies, which was pooled into 4 groups according to location. A library was created from each group and sequenced using Illumina Miseq technology. After a series of winnowing methods to remove S. invicta genes, known S. invicta virus genes, and all other non-virus gene sequences, 61,944 unique singletons were identified with virus identity. These were assembled de novo yielding 171 contiguous sequences with significant identity to non-plant virus genes. Fifteen contiguous sequences exhibited very high expression rates and were detected in all four gene libraries. One contig (Contig_29 exhibited the highest expression level overall and across all four gene libraries. Random amplification of cDNA ends analyses expanded this contiguous sequence yielding a complete virus genome, which we have provisionally named Solenopsis invicta virus 5 (SINV-5. SINV-5 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus with genome characteristics consistent with insect-infecting viruses from the family Dicistroviridae. Moreover, the replicative genome strand of SINV-5 was detected in worker ants indicating that S. invicta serves as host for the virus. Many additional sequences were identified that are likely of viral origin. These sequences await further investigation to determine their origins and relationship with S. invicta. This study expands knowledge of the RNA virome diversity found within S. invicta populations.
Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest ants, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicot...
Full Text Available Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri are two very closely related invasive ant species; however, S. invicta is a much more successful invader. Physiological tolerance to abiotic stress has been hypothesized to be important to the success of an invasive species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that S. invicta is more tolerant to heat and desiccation stress than S. richteri. The data strongly support our hypothesis. S. invicta was found to be significantly less vulnerable than S. richteri to both heat and desiccation stress. Despite S. richteri having significantly higher body water content, S. invicta was less sensitive to desiccation stress due to its significantly lower water loss rate (higher desiccation resistance. After the cuticular lipid was removed, S. invicta still had a significantly lower water loss rate than S. richteri, indicating that cuticular lipids were not the only factors accounting for difference in the desiccation resistance between these two species. Since multiple biological and/or ecological traits can contribute to the invasion success of a particular species, whether the observed difference in tolerance to heat and desiccation stresses is indeed associated with the variation in invasion success between these two species can only be confirmed by further extensive comparative study.
Stefan Wirth; John Moser
The new species Histiostoma bJol1lquisti n. sp., associated with the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, is described by its deutonymph. A putative adult female is depicted. The deutonymphs only attach to female alates, dealates and queens of S. invicta. While queens may be covered by more than 200 deutonymphs over their entire bodies, the numbers of deutonymphs...
Full Text Available To accurately assess gene expression levels, it is essential to normalize real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR data with suitable internal reference genes. For the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, reliable reference genes to assess the transcript expression levels of the target genes have not been previously investigated. In this study, we examined the expression levels of five candidate reference genes (rpl18, ef1-beta, act, GAPDH, and tbp in different developmental stages, castes and tissues of S. invicta. To evaluate the suitability of these genes as endogenous controls, three software-based approaches (geNorm, BestKeeper and NormFinder and one web-based comprehensive tool (RefFinder were used to analyze and rank the tested genes. Furthermore, the optimal number of reference gene(s was determined by the pairwise variation value. Our data showed that two of the five candidate genes, rpl18 and ef1-beta, were the most suitable reference genes because they have the most stable expression among different developmental stages, castes and tissues in S. invicta. Although widely used as reference gene in other species, in S. invicta the act gene has high variation in expression and was consequently excluded as a reliable reference gene. The two validated reference genes, rpl18 and ef1-beta, can be widely used for quantification of target gene expression with RT-qPCR technology in S. invicta.
Steven M. Valles
Full Text Available The imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri were introduced into the USA between 1918 and 1945. Since that time, they have expanded their USA range to include some 138 million hectares. Their introduction has had significant economic consequences with costs associated with damage and control efforts estimated at 6 billion dollars annually in the USA. The general consensus of entomologists and myrmecologists is that permanent, sustainable control of these ants in the USA will likely depend on self-sustaining biological control agents. A metagenomics approach successfully resulted in discovery of three viruses infecting S. invicta. Solenopsis invicta virus 1 (SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 are all positive, single-stranded RNA viruses and represent the first viral discoveries in any ant species. Molecular characterization, host relationships, and potential development and use of SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 as biopesticides are discussed.
Wang, Lei; Elliott, Brad; Jin, Xixuan; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian
The antimicrobial property of volatiles produced by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, against Beauveria bassiana, a common entomopathogenic fungus, was demonstrated. The germination rate of B. bassiana spores was significantly reduced after they were exposed to volatiles within an artificial ant nest. Since the air that contained the same level of O2 and CO2 as that in artificial fire ant nests did not suppress the germination rate of B. bassiana, the observed reduction of germination rate must be caused by the toxicity of nest volatiles. Nest fumigation may be an important component of the social immune system in S. invicta.
Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Slater, J.; Wiggers, E.
Amphibians and reptiles are declining globally. One potential cause of this decline includes impacts resulting from co-occurrence with non-native red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Although a growing body of anecdotal and observational evidence from laboratory experiments supports this hypothesis, there remains a lack of field scale manipulations testing the effect of fire ants on reptile and amphibian communities. We addressed this gap by measuring reptile and amphibian (“herpetofauna”) community response to successful fire ant reductions over the course of 2 years following hydramethylnon application to five 100–200 ha plots in southeastern coastal South Carolina. By assessing changes in relative abundance and species richness of herpetofauna in response to fire ant reductions, we were able to assess whether some species were particularly vulnerable to fire ant presence, and whether this sensitivity manifested at the community level. We found that herpetofauna abundance and species richness responded positively to fire ant reductions. Our results document that even moderate populations of red imported fire ants decrease both the abundance and diversity of herpetofauna. Given global herpetofauna population declines and continued spread of fire ants, there is urgency to understand the impacts of fire ants beyond anecdotal and singles species studies. Our results provides the first community level investigation addressing these dynamics, by manipulating fire ant abundance to reveal a response in herpetofauna species abundance and richness.
Michael T. Bentley
Full Text Available Nylanderia fulva (Mayr, the tawny crazy ant, is an invasive pest established in Florida and several other Gulf Coast states. In their invasive ranges in the Southeastern USA, large N. fulva populations have reduced species abundance, even displacing another invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta (Buren. In North Florida, N. fulva populations survive winter temperatures that reach below freezing for extended periods. However, the shallow littoral debris used by N. fulva for nest construction offers little insulation to brood and reproductives when exposed to freezing temperatures. Field populations of N. fulva in North Florida were observed tunneling below ground, a previously undescribed behavior. Other invasive ants exhibit similar subterranean tunneling behavior as a means of thermoregulation. To test the hypothesis that N. fulva has the capacity to construct subterranean tunnels across a range of ecologically relevant temperatures, tunneling performance for N. fulva and S. invicta, another invasive ant that tunnels extensively, were compared at four temperatures (15.0, 18.0, 20.0, and 22.0 °C. Overall, N. fulva tunneled significantly less than S. invicta. Nylanderia fulva tunneled furthest at warmer temperatures whereas S. invicta tunneled furthest at cooler temperatures. However, N. fulva constructed subterranean tunnels at all temperatures evaluated. These data support the hypothesis that N. fulva is capable of tunneling in temperatures as low as 15.0 °C, confirming that this ant can also perform a behavior that is used by other ants for cold avoidance.
During a field evaluation of a boric acid bait against the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, it was observed that workers of intoxicated colonies produced stings with less toxic effects compared to workers from healthy colonies. In this study, the effect of boric acid on the levels o...
Bentley, Michael T; Oi, Faith M; Gezan, Salvador A; Hahn, Daniel A
Nylanderia fulva (Mayr), the tawny crazy ant, is an invasive pest established in Florida and several other Gulf Coast states. In their invasive ranges in the Southeastern USA, large N. fulva populations have reduced species abundance, even displacing another invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta (Buren). In North Florida, N. fulva populations survive winter temperatures that reach below freezing for extended periods. However, the shallow littoral debris used by N. fulva for nest construction offers little insulation to brood and reproductives when exposed to freezing temperatures. Field populations of N. fulva in North Florida were observed tunneling below ground, a previously undescribed behavior. Other invasive ants exhibit similar subterranean tunneling behavior as a means of thermoregulation. To test the hypothesis that N. fulva has the capacity to construct subterranean tunnels across a range of ecologically relevant temperatures, tunneling performance for N. fulva and S. invicta, another invasive ant that tunnels extensively, were compared at four temperatures (15.0, 18.0, 20.0, and 22.0 °C). Overall, N. fulva tunneled significantly less than S. invicta. Nylanderia fulva tunneled furthest at warmer temperatures whereas S. invicta tunneled furthest at cooler temperatures. However, N. fulva constructed subterranean tunnels at all temperatures evaluated. These data support the hypothesis that N. fulva is capable of tunneling in temperatures as low as 15.0 °C, confirming that this ant can also perform a behavior that is used by other ants for cold avoidance.
The preference of red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta for microencapsulated (MC) pyriproxifen based corn grit baits (P-bait) was conducted in laboratory and field conditions. A positive correlation between the microencapsulation rate and water tolerance ability of P-bait was observed. A 20% in...
Full Text Available Vitellogenin has been proposed to regulate division of labor and social organization in social insects. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta harbors four distinct, adjacent vitellogenin genes (Vg1, Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4. Contrary to honey bees that have a single Vg ortholog as well as potentially fertile nurses, and to other ant species that lay trophic eggs, S. invicta workers completely lack ovaries or the ability to lay eggs. This provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in S. invicta was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire non-reproductive functions and whether Vg was co-opted to regulate behavior within the worker caste. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of S. invicta Vg genes among workers from different morphological subcastes or performing different tasks. RT-qPCRs revealed higher relative expression of Vg1 in major workers compared to both medium and minor workers, and of Vg2 in major workers when compared to minor workers. Relative expression of Vg1 was also higher in carbohydrate foragers when compared to nurses and protein foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4 were not significantly different among the workers performing the specific tasks. Additionally, we analyzed the relationship between the expression of the Vg genes and S-hydroprene, a juvenile hormone analog. No changes in Vg expression were recorded in workers 12 h after application of the analog. Our results suggest that in S. invicta the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to new functions based on the expression bias observed in these data. This may suggest an alternative and still unknown function for Vg in the workers that needs to be investigated further.
Full Text Available Solenopsis invicta Buren is one of the most important pests in China, and control measures are mainly based on the use of synthetic pesticides, which may be inadequate and unsustainable. Hence, there is a growing interest in developing biological control alternatives for managing S. invicta, such as the use of entomopathogenic fungi. To facilitate the commercialization of entomopathogenic fungi against S. invicta, 10 Beauveria bassiana isolates originating from different hosts were tested for virulence in laboratory bioassays, and the most pathogenic strain, ZGNKY-5, was tested in field studies using an improved pathogen delivery system. The cumulative mortality rate reached 93.40% at 1×108 mL-1 conidia after 504 h. The germination and invasion of the spores were observed under a scanning electron microscope, and several conidia adhered to the cuticle of S. invicta after 2 h. Furthermore, the germ tubes of the conidia oriented toward the cuticle after 48 h, and the mycelium colonized the entire body after 96 h. Based on the efficacy observed in the laboratory trials, further experiments were performed with ZGNKY-5 strain to evaluate its utility in an injection control technology against S. invicta in the field. We found that three dosage treatments of ZGNKY-5 strain (500 mL, 750 mL, and 1,000 mL per nest had significant control effects. Our results show that this strain of Beauveria bassiana and our control method were effective against S. invicta in both laboratory and field settings.
Li, Jun; Guo, Qiang; Lin, Miaofeng; Jiang, Lu; Ye, Jingwen; Chen, Dasong; Li, Zhigang; Dai, Jianqing; Han, Shichou
Solenopsis invicta Buren is one of the most important pests in China, and control measures are mainly based on the use of synthetic pesticides, which may be inadequate and unsustainable. Hence, there is a growing interest in developing biological control alternatives for managing S. invicta, such as the use of entomopathogenic fungi. To facilitate the commercialization of entomopathogenic fungi against S. invicta, 10 Beauveria bassiana isolates originating from different hosts were tested for virulence in laboratory bioassays, and the most pathogenic strain, ZGNKY-5, was tested in field studies using an improved pathogen delivery system. The cumulative mortality rate reached 93.40% at 1×108 mL-1 conidia after 504 h. The germination and invasion of the spores were observed under a scanning electron microscope, and several conidia adhered to the cuticle of S. invicta after 2 h. Furthermore, the germ tubes of the conidia oriented toward the cuticle after 48 h, and the mycelium colonized the entire body after 96 h. Based on the efficacy observed in the laboratory trials, further experiments were performed with ZGNKY-5 strain to evaluate its utility in an injection control technology against S. invicta in the field. We found that three dosage treatments of ZGNKY-5 strain (500 mL, 750 mL, and 1,000 mL per nest) had significant control effects. Our results show that this strain of Beauveria bassiana and our control method were effective against S. invicta in both laboratory and field settings. PMID:27341441
Valles, Steven M.; Hashimoto, Yoshifumi
We report the discovery of a new virus from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) represents the third virus discovered from this ant species using the metagenomics approach. The single (positive)-strand RNA, monopartite, bicistronic genome of SINV-3 was sequenced in entirety (GenBank accession number (FJ528584)), comprised of 10,386 nucleotides, and polyadenylated at the 3' terminus. This genome size was confirmed by Northern analysis. The genome revealed 2 large open reading frames (ORFs) in the sense orientation with an untranslated region (UTR) at each end and between the two ORFs. The 5' proximal ORF (ORF 1) encoded a predicted protein of 299.1 kDa (2580 amino acids). The 3' proximal ORF (ORF 2) encoded a predicted protein of 73.2 kDa (651 amino acids). RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), helicase, and protease domains were recognized in ORF 1. SDS-PAGE separation of purified SINV-3 particles yielded 2 bands (ostensibly capsid proteins) with a combined molecular mass of 77.3 kDa which was similar to the mass predicted by ORF 2 (73.2 kDa). Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved amino acid sequences containing domains I to VIII of the RdRp from dicistroviruses, iflaviruses, plant small RNA viruses, picornaviruses, and 4 unassigned positive-strand RNA viruses revealed a trichotomous phenogram with SINV-3 and Kelp fly virus comprising a unique cluster. Electron microscopic examination of negatively stained samples of SINV-3 revealed isometric particles with apparent projections and a diameter of 27.3 ± 1.3 nm. SINV-3 was successfully transmitted to uninfected workers by feeding. The minus (replicative) strand of SINV-3 was detected in worker ants indicating replication of the virus. The possibility of using SINV-3 as a microbial control agent for fire ants is discussed.
Stringer, Lloyd D; Suckling, David Maxwell; Baird, David; Vander Meer, Robert K; Christian, Sheree J; Lester, Philip J
Cost-effective detection of invasive ant colonies before establishment in new ranges is imperative for the protection of national borders and reducing their global impact. We examined the sampling efficiency of food-baits and pitfall traps (baited and nonbaited) in detecting isolated red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) nests in multiple environments in Gainesville, FL. Fire ants demonstrated a significantly higher preference for a mixed protein food type (hotdog or ground meat combined with sweet peanut butter) than for the sugar or water baits offered. Foraging distance success was a function of colony size, detection trap used, and surveillance duration. Colony gyne number did not influence detection success. Workers from small nests (0- to 15-cm mound diameter) traveled no >3 m to a food source, whereas large colonies (>30-cm mound diameter) traveled up to 17 m. Baited pitfall traps performed best at detecting incipient ant colonies followed by nonbaited pitfall traps then food baits, whereas food baits performed well when trying to detect large colonies. These results were used to create an interactive model in Microsoft Excel, whereby surveillance managers can alter trap type, density, and duration parameters to estimate the probability of detecting specified or unknown S. invicta colony sizes. This model will support decision makers who need to balance the sampling cost and risk of failure to detect fire ant colonies.
Vander Meer, Robert K; Preston, Catherine A; Choi, Man-Yeon
Alarm pheromones in social insects are an essential part of a complex of pheromone interactions that contribute to the maintenance of colony integrity and sociality. The alarm pheromones of ants were among the first examples of animal pheromones identified, primarily because of the large amount of chemical produced and the distinctive responses of ants to the pheromone. However, the alarm pheromone of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, eluded identification for over four decades. We identified 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine as an alarm pheromone component of S. invicta. Worker fire ants detect the pyrazine alarm pheromone at 30 pg/ml, which is comparable to alarm pheromone sensitivities reported for other ant species. The source of this alarm pheromone are the mandibular glands, which, in fire ants, are not well developed and contain only about 300 pg of the compound, much less than the microgram quantities of alarm pheromones reported for several other ant species. Female and male sexuals and workers produce the pyrazine, which suggests that it may be involved in fire ant mating flight initiation, as well as the typical worker alarm response. This is the first report of 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine from a Solenopsis species and the first example of this alkaloid functioning as an alarm pheromone.
Weldon, Paul J.; Cardoza, Yasmin J.; Vander Meer, Robert K.; Hoffmann, W. Clint; Daly, John W.; Spande, Thomas F.
Nearly 500 alkaloids, representing over 20 structural classes, have been identified from the skin of neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae). These cutaneous compounds, which are derived from arthropod prey of the frogs, generally are believed to deter predators. We tested the red imported fire ant ( Solenopsis invicta) for toxicosis following contact with 20 alkaloids (12 structural classes) identified from dendrobatids or other anurans. Individual ants forced to contact the dried residues of 13 compounds exhibited convulsions and/or reduced ambulation. We estimated the cutaneous concentrations of several compounds based on their reported recoveries from skin extracts of free-ranging frogs and our measurements of the skin surface areas of museum specimens. Pumiliotoxin 251D exhibited contact toxicity below its estimated cutaneous concentration in the Ecuadorian frog, Epipedobates anthonyi, an observation consistent with the hypothesized role of this compound in anuran chemical defense. Our results and those of a previous study of mosquitoes indicate that some anuran skin compounds function defensively as contact toxins against arthropods, permeating their exoskeleton.
Medina, Freder; Li, Haiwen; Vinson, S Bradleigh; Coates, Craig J
In our previous study we isolated 10 bacterial species from fourth-instar larval midguts of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Here we report the genetic transformation and reintroduction of three species (Kluyvera cryocrescens, Serratia marcescens, and isolate 38) into the fire ant host. All three species were transformed with the plasmid vector, pZeoDsRed. High expression levels of DsRed were observed and the plasmid is maintained in these bacteria at 37 degrees C in the absence of antibiotic selection for at least 9 days of subculturing. The transformed bacteria were successfully reintroduced into fire ant larvae and survived in the fire ant gut for at least 7 days. Upon pupal emergence, 7 days after reintroduction, transformed bacteria can still be isolated, however, most were passed out in the meconium. We further demonstrated that the engineered bacteria could be spread within the colony by feeding this meconium to naive larvae with the aid of worker fire ants.
Plowes, Nicola J.R; Adams, Eldridge S
Lanchester's models of attrition describe casualty rates during battles between groups as functions of the numbers of individuals and their fighting abilities. Originally developed to describe human warfare, Lanchester's square law has been hypothesized to apply broadly to social animals as well, with important consequences for their aggressive behaviour and social structure. According to the square law, the fighting ability of a group is proportional to the square of the number of individuals, but rises only linearly with fighting ability of individuals within the group. By analyzing mortality rates of fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) fighting in different numerical ratios, we provide the first quantitative test of Lanchester's model for a non-human animal. Casualty rates of fire ants were not consistent with the square law; instead, group fighting ability was an approximately linear function of group size. This implies that the relative numbers of casualties incurred by two fighting groups are not strongly affected by relative group sizes and that battles do not disproportionately favour group size over individual prowess. PMID:16096093
Bouwma, Andrew M; Shoemaker, Dewayne
Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that commonly infect many arthropods and some nematodes. In arthropods, these maternally transmitted bacteria often induce a variety of phenotypic effects to enhance their own spread within host populations. Wolbachia phenotypic effects generally either provide benefits to infected host females (cytoplasmic incompatibility, positive fitness effects) or bias host sex ratio in favor of females (male-killing, parthenogenesis, feminization), all of which increase the relative production of infected females in host populations. Wolbachia surveys have found infections to be exceedingly common in ants, but little is known at this juncture as to what phenotypic effects, if any, they induce in this group. Previous studies have demonstrated that individuals from native populations of the invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta commonly harbor one or more of three Wolbachia variants. One of the variants, wSinvictaA, typically occurs at low prevalence in S. invicta populations, appears to have been transmitted horizontally into S. invicta three or more times, and has been lost repeatedly from host lineages over time. In order to determine the phenotypic effects and likely population dynamics of wSinvictaA infections in these ants, brood production patterns of newly mated fire ant queens were studied during simulated claustral founding and measured wSinvictaA transmission fidelity within mature single-queen families. No clear evidence was found for Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility, significant fitness effects, or male-killing. Maternal transmission was perfect to both virgin queens and males. Possible mechanisms for how this variant could be maintained in host populations are discussed.
Gaeolaelaps Invictianus, a new and unusual species of Hypoaspidine Mite (Acari: Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) phoretic on the red imported fire ant Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Louisiana, USA
David Walter; John Moser
A new species ofhypoaspidine laelapid mite, Gaeolaelaps invictianus, associated with the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren in the southern United States of America is described. This new species is unusual among the gamasine Mesostigmata in lacking a postanal seta in adults of both sexes and among species of Gaeolaelaps in being phoretic on dispersing male...
Ants are common hitchhiker pests on traded agricultural commodities that could be controlled by postharvest irradiation treatment. We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren to determine the dose sufficient for its control. Virgin or fertile queens...
Full Text Available Neuropeptides and their receptors play vital roles in controlling the physiology and behavior of animals. Short neuropeptide F (sNPF signaling regulates several physiological processes in insects such as feeding, locomotion, circadian rhythm and reproduction, among others. Previously, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta sNPF receptor (S. invicta sNPFR, a G protein-coupled receptor, was immunolocalized in queen and worker brain and queen ovaries. Differential distribution patterns of S. invicta sNPFR protein in fire ant worker brain were associated both with worker subcastes and with presence or absence of brood in the colony. However, the cognate ligand for this sNPFR has not been characterized and attempts to deorphanize the receptor with sNPF peptides from other insect species which ended in the canonical sequence LRLRFamide, failed. Receptor deorphanization is an important step to understand the neuropeptide receptor downstream signaling cascade. We cloned the full length cDNA of the putative S. invicta sNPF prepropeptide and identified the putative "sNPF" ligand within its sequence. The peptide ends with an amidated Tyr residue whereas in other insect species sNPFs have an amidated Phe or Trp residue at the C-terminus. We stably expressed the HA-tagged S. invicta sNPFR in CHO-K1 cells. Two S. invicta sNPFs differing at their N-terminus were synthesized that equally activated the sNPFR, SLRSALAAGHLRYa (EC50 = 3.2 nM and SALAAGHLRYa (EC50 = 8.6 nM. Both peptides decreased the intracellular cAMP concentration, indicating signaling through the Gαi-subunit. The receptor was not activated by sNPF peptides from other insect species, honey bee long NPF (NPY or mammalian PYY. Further, a synthesized peptide otherwise identical to the fire ant sequence but in which the C-terminal amidated amino acid residue 'Y' was switched to 'F', failed to activate the sNPFR. This discovery will now allow us to investigate the function of sNPY and
Steven M Valles
Full Text Available Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that infects the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. We show that the second open reading frame (ORF of the dicistronic genome is expressed via a frameshifting mechanism and that the sequences encoding the structural proteins map to both ORF2 and the 3' end of ORF1, downstream of the sequence that encodes the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The genome organization and structural protein expression strategy resemble those of Acyrthosiphon pisum virus (APV, an aphid virus. The capsid protein that is encoded by the 3' end of ORF1 in SINV-3 and APV is predicted to have a jelly-roll fold similar to the capsid proteins of picornaviruses and caliciviruses. The capsid-extension protein that is produced by frameshifting, includes the jelly-roll fold domain encoded by ORF1 as its N-terminus, while the C-terminus encoded by the 5' half of ORF2 has no clear homology with other viral structural proteins. A third protein, encoded by the 3' half of ORF2, is associated with purified virions at sub-stoichiometric ratios. Although the structural proteins can be translated from the genomic RNA, we show that SINV-3 also produces a subgenomic RNA encoding the structural proteins. Circumstantial evidence suggests that APV may also produce such a subgenomic RNA. Both SINV-3 and APV are unclassified picorna-like viruses distantly related to members of the order Picornavirales and the family Caliciviridae. Within this grouping, features of the genome organization and capsid domain structure of SINV-3 and APV appear more similar to caliciviruses, perhaps suggesting the basis for a "Calicivirales" order.
Valles, Steven M.; Strong, Charles A.; Dang, Phat M.; Hunter, Wayne B.; Pereira, Roberto M.; Oi, David H.; Shapiro, Alexandra M.; Williams, David F.
We report the first discovery and genome sequence of a virus infecting the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The 8026 nucleotide, polyadenylated, RNA genome encoded two large open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2), flanked and separated by 27, 223, and 171 nucleotide untranslated regions, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 5' proximal ORF1 (nucleotides 28 to 4218) exhibited significant identity and possessed consensus sequences characteristic of the helicase, cysteine protease, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence motifs from picornaviruses, picorna-like viruses, comoviruses, caliciviruses, and sequiviruses. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 3' proximal ORF2 (nucleotides 4390-7803) showed similarity to structural proteins in picorna-like viruses, especially the acute bee paralysis virus. Electron microscopic examination of negatively stained samples from virus-infected fire ants revealed isometric particles with a diameter of 31 nm, consistent with Picornaviridae. A survey for the fire ant virus from areas around Florida revealed a pattern of fairly widespread distribution. Among 168 nests surveyed, 22.9% were infected. The virus was found to infect all fire ant caste members and developmental stages, including eggs, early (1st-2nd) and late (3rd-4th) instars, worker pupae, workers, sexual pupae, alates ( male and female ), and queens. The virus, tentatively named S. invicta virus (SINV-1), appears to belong to the picorna-like viruses. We did not observe any perceptible symptoms among infected nests in the field. However, in every case where an SINV-1-infected colony was excavated from the field with an inseminated queen and held in the laboratory, all of the brood in these colonies died within 3 months
Ross, Kenneth G; Shoemaker, D DeWayne
Uncertainty over the role of shifts in social behavior in the process of speciation in social insects has stimulated interest in determining the extent of gene flow between conspecific populations differing in colony social organization. Allele and genotype frequencies at 12 neutral polymorphic protein markers, as well as the numbers of alleles at the sex-determining locus (loci), are shown here to be consistent with significant ongoing gene flow between two geographically adjacent populations of Solenopsis invicta that differ in colony queen number. Data from a thirteenth protein marker that is under strong differential selection in the two social forms confirm that such gene flow occurs. Data from this selected locus, combined with knowledge of the reproductive biology of the two social forms, further suggest that interform gene flow is largely unidirectional and mediated through males only. This unusual pattern of gene flow results from the influence of the unique social enviroments of the two forms on the behavior of workers and on the reproductive physiology of sexuals. © 1993 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Gutrich, J.J.; VanGelder, E.; Loope, L.
Globally, many invasive alien species have caused extensive ecological and economic damage from either accidental or intentional introduction. The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has created billions of dollars in costs annually, spreading as an invasive species across the southern United States. In 1998, the red imported fire ant spread into California creating a highly probable future introduction via shipped products to Hawaii. This paper presents the estimation of potential economic impacts of the red imported fire ant (RIFA) to the state of Hawaii. Evaluation of impacts focuses on the economic sectors of (1) households, (2) agriculture (cattle and crop production), (3) infrastructure (cemeteries, churches, cities, electrical, telephone, and cable services, highways, hospitals and schools), (4) recreation, tourism and business (hotels/resort areas, golf courses, commercial businesses and tourists), and (5) government expenditures (with minimal intervention). The full annual economic costs of the red imported fire ant to Hawaii are estimated (in US$ 2006) to be $211 million/year, comprised of $77 million in damages and expenditures and $134 million in foregone outdoor opportunities to households and tourists. The present value of the projected costs of RIFA over a 20-year period after introduction total $2.5 billion. RIFA invasions across the globe indicate that economic cost-effective action in Hawaii entails implementation of prevention, early detection and rapid response treatment programs for RIFA. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Klobuchar, Emily; Deslippe, Richard
We conducted five bioassays to study how queens control the execution of sexual larvae by workers in colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In each assay, subset colonies were made from many large polygyne colonies, and the 20 sexual larvae they contained were monitored over time. Sexual larvae mostly survived in queenless colonies, but were mostly killed in colonies with a single dealated queen, regardless of whether or not the queen was fertilized. The larvae were also killed when fresh corpses of queens were added to queenless colonies. Whereas acetone extracts of queens did not produce a significant increase in killings, extracts in buffered saline induced workers to execute most sexual larvae, indicating successful extraction of an execution pheromone. We identified the probable storage location of the chemical as the poison sac, and found both fresh (1 day) and old (21 day) extracts of poison sacs to be equally effective in inducing executions. The pheromone is stable at room temperature, perhaps because venom alkaloids also present in the extracts keep the pheromone from degrading. It is apparently either proteinaceous or associated with a proteinaceous molecule, a novel finding, as no queen pheromone of a proteinaceous nature has been previously demonstrated in ants.
Buechel, Séverine D; Wurm, Yanick; Keller, Laurent
Intraspecific variation in social organization is common, yet the underlying causes are rarely known. An exception is the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in which the existence of two distinct forms of social colony organization is under the control of the two variants of a pair of social chromosomes, SB and Sb. Colonies containing exclusively SB/SB workers accept only one single queen and she must be SB/SB. By contrast, when colonies contain more than 10% of SB/Sb workers, they accept several queens but only SB/Sb queens. The variants of the social chromosome are associated with several additional important phenotypic differences, including the size, fecundity and dispersal strategies of queens, aggressiveness of workers, and sperm count in males. However, little is known about whether social chromosome variants affect fitness in other life stages. Here, we perform experiments to determine whether differential selection occurs during development and in adult workers. We find evidence that the Sb variant of the social chromosome increases the likelihood of female brood to develop into queens and that adult SB/Sb workers, the workers that cull SB/SB queens, are overrepresented in comparison to SB/SB workers. This demonstrates that supergenes such as the social chromosome can have complex effects on phenotypes at various stages of development. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available We describe the odorant binding proteins (OBPs of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, obtained from analyses of an EST library and separate 454 sequencing runs of two normalized cDNA libraries. We identified a total of 18 putative functional OBPs in this ant. A third of the fire ant OBPs are orthologs to honey bee OBPs. Another third of the OBPs belong to a lineage-specific expansion, which is a common feature of insect OBP evolution. Like other OBPs, the different fire ant OBPs share little sequence similarity (∼ 20%, rendering evolutionary analyses difficult. We discuss the resulting problems with sequence alignment, phylogenetic analysis, and tests of selection. As previously suggested, our results underscore the importance for careful exploration of the sensitivity to the effects of alignment methods for data comprising widely divergent sequences.
Milks, Maynard L; Sokolova, Yuliya Y; Isakova, Irina A; Fuxa, James R; Mitchell, Forrest; Snowden, Karen F; Vinson, S Bradleigh
The main goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three staining techniques (calcofluor white M2R, Giemsa and modified trichrome), and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in detecting the microsporidium Thelohania solenopsae in red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). The effect of the number of ants in a sample on the sensitivity of the staining techniques and the PCR, and the effect of three DNA extraction protocols on the sensitivity of PCR were also examined. In the first protocol, the ants were macerated and the crude homogenate was used immediately in the PCR. In the second protocol, the homogenate was placed on a special membrane (FTA card) that traps DNA, which is subsequently used in the PCR. In the third protocol, the DNA was purified from the homogenate by traditional phenol-chloroform extraction. Except for PCR using FTA cards, the sensitivity (number of samples positive for T. solenopsae) of all detection techniques increased with the number of ants in the sample. Overall, Giemsa was the least sensitive of all detection techniques. Calcofluor was more sensitive than modified trichrome with ants from one site and was equally as sensitive as PCR with crude DNA or a FTA card with ants from both sites. Trichrome staining was equally as sensitive as PCR with a FTA card at both sites, but it was less sensitive than PCR with crude DNA at one site. PCR on FTA cards was less sensitive than PCR with crude DNA for ants from one site but not the other. There was no difference whether crude or phenol-chloroform purified DNA was used as template. In summary, the results of this study show that PCR based on a crude DNA solution is equal to or more sensitive in detecting T. solenopsae than the other detection techniques investigated, and that it can be used as a reliable diagnostic tool for screening field samples of S. invicta for T. solenopsae. Nevertheless, ant smear stained with calcofluor or modified trichrome should be used to buttress findings
Lockwood, Stephanie A; Haghipour-Peasley, Jilla; Hoffman, Donald R; Deslippe, Richard J
We report on two low-molecular weight proteins that are stored in the venom of queen red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Translated amino acid sequences identified one protein to have 74.8% identity with the Sol i 2w worker allergen, and the other protein was found to have 96/97% identity with Sol i 4.01w/4.02w worker allergens. Both Sol i 2 and Sol i 4 queen and worker proteins were expressed using pEXP1-DEST vector in SHuffle™ T7 Express lysY Escherichia coli. Proteins were expressed at significant concentrations, as opposed to the μg/ml amounts by our previous expression methods, enabling further study of these proteins. Sol i 2q protein bound weakly to human IgE, sera pooled from allergic patients, whereas Sol i 2w, Sol i 4.01w, and Sol i 4q proteins bound strongly. Despite Sol i 2w and Sol i 2q proteins having 74.8% identity, the queen protein is less immuno-reactive than the worker allergen. This finding is consistent with allergic individuals being less sensitive to queen than worker venom. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fan, Yanhua; Pereira, Roberto M; Kilic, Engin; Casella, George; Keyhani, Nemat O
Fire ants are one of the world's most damaging invasive pests, with few means for their effective control. Although ecologically friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides such as the insecticidal fungus Beauveria bassiana have been suggested for the control of fire ant populations, their use has been limited due to the low virulence of the fungus and the length of time it takes to kill its target. We present a means of increasing the virulence of the fungal agent by expressing a fire ant neuropeptide. Expression of the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) pyrokinin β-neuropeptide (β-NP) by B. bassiana increased fungal virulence six-fold towards fire ants, decreased the LT(50), but did not affect virulence towards the lepidopteran, Galleria mellonella. Intriguingly, ants killed by the β-NP expressing fungus were disrupted in the removal of dead colony members, i.e. necrophoretic behavior. Furthermore, synthetic C-terminal amidated β-NP but not the non-amidated peptide had a dramatic effect on necrophoretic behavior. These data link chemical sensing of a specific peptide to a complex social behavior. Our results also confirm a new approach to insect control in which expression of host molecules in an insect pathogen can by exploited for target specific augmentation of virulence. The minimization of the development of potential insect resistance by our approach is discussed.
Walter S Leal
Full Text Available The red imported fire ant (RIFA, Solenopsis invicta, is an invasive species, accidentally introduced in the United States that can cause painful (sometimes life-threatening stings to human, pets, and livestock. Their colonies have two social forms: monogyne and polygyne that have a single and multiple functional queens, respectively. A major gene (Gp-9, identified as a putative pheromone-binding protein on the basis of a modest amino acid sequence identity, has been suggested to influence the expression of colony social organization. Monogyne queens are reported to possess only the GP-9B alleles, whereas polygyne queens possess both GP-9B and GP-9b. Thus, both social forms are reported to express GP-9B, with GP-9b being a marker expressed in polygynes but it is absent in monogynes. Here, we report two types of polygyne colonies, one that does not express GP-9b (monogyne-like and the other expressing both proteins, GP-9B and GP-9b. Given their expression pattern, GP-9s are hemolymph proteins, which are more likely to be involved in the transport of lipids and small ligands within the homocoel. GP-9B existed in two forms, one of them is phosphorylated. The helical-rich content of the protein resembles the secondary structures of a beetle hemolymph protein and moth pheromone-binding proteins. An olfactory role is unlikely given the lack of specific expression in the sensillar lymph. In marked contrast to GP-9s, a chemosensory protein, SinvCSP, is demonstrated to be specifically expressed in the antennae. Within the antennae, expression of SinvCSP is restricted to the last two segments, which are known to house olfactory sensilla.
Distribution of 32P in laboratory colonies of Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) after feeding on labeled Heliothis zeal (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) eggs: an explanation of discrepancies encountered in field predation experiments
Nuessly, G.S.; Sterling, W.L.
Factors responsible for low recovery rates of radioactive Solenopsis invicta Buren following placement of 32 P-labeled Heliothis zea (Boddie) eggs on cotton in field predation tests were investigated using laboratory colonies of the ants. S. invicta workers became radioactive while handling labeled eggs by rupturing the egg chorion or by picking up labeled substances present on the surface of eggs. Foragers that removed the eggs from the plants picked up significantly more of the label than did workers that were sampled from the colonies between 12 and 72 h after egg introduction. Percentage of workers that became labeled over time was much lower with the solid live food than in other studies that used powdered food sources. Problems in finding labeled ants in the field may have been associated with low mean levels of 32 P per ant, together with difficulty in locating and isolating labeled ants from the population. Results indicate that egg predation rates estimated from counts per minute per predator have high variability, and suggest fairly large errors in estimates of eggs consumed per ant. Use of recovery rates of labeled predators to improve estimation of predation rates is discussed
Pietrantonio Patricia V
Full Text Available Abstract Background Insect neuropeptides are involved in diverse physiological functions and can be released as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators acting within the central nervous system, and as circulating neurohormones in insect hemolymph. The insect short neuropeptide F (sNPF peptides, related to the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY peptides, have been implicated in the regulation of food intake and body size, and play a gonadotropic role in the ovaries of some insect species. Recently the sNPF peptides were localized in the brain of larval and adult Drosophila. However, the location of the sNPF receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR, has not yet been investigated in brains of any adult insect. To elucidate the sites of action of the sNPF peptide(s, the sNPF receptor tissue expression and cellular localization were analyzed in queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera, an invasive social insect. Results In the queen brains and subesophageal ganglion about 164 cells distributed in distinctive cell clusters (C1-C9 and C12 or as individual cells (C10, C11 were immuno-positive for the sNPF receptor. Most of these neurons are located in or near important sensory neuropils including the mushroom bodies, the antennal lobes, the central complex, and in different parts of the protocerebrum, as well as in the subesophageal ganglion. The localization of the sNPF receptor broadly links the receptor signaling pathway with circuits regulating learning and feeding behaviors. In ovaries from mated queens, the detection of sNPF receptor signal at the posterior end of oocytes in mid-oogenesis stage suggests that the sNPF signaling pathway may regulate processes at the oocyte pole. Conclusions The analysis of sNPF receptor immunolocalization shows that the sNPF signaling cascade may be involved in diverse functions, and the sNPF peptide(s may act in the brain as neurotransmitter(s or neuromodulator(s, and in the ovaries
Torres G, Carlos L.; Docente Departamento de Literatura Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
«Porque un diamante es casi tan valioso como un libro». Esta frase se extiende al pie de una edición antigua de «El Quijote», abierto en la primera página del capítulo sexto, en medio de las curiosidades de una tienda de antigüedades que sorprenden al profesor arturo manrique avilan, y a su compañero de ciencia, el alemán heimpel en la calle del chocho a la vuelta de palacio. La ciudad de Bogotá es el escenario para narrar la vida de un científico que busca a la manera moderna, a través de la...
Vairimorpha disparis n. comb. (Microsporidia: Burenellidae): a redescription and taxonomic revision of Thelohania disparis Timofejeva 1956, a microsporidian parasite of the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae)
Vávra, Jiří; Hyliš, M.; Vossbrinck, C. R.; Pilarska, D. K.; Linde, A.; Weiser, Jaroslav; McManus, M. L.; Hoch, G.; Solter, L. F.
Roč. 53, č. 4 (2006), s. 292-304 ISSN 1066-5234 Grant - others:Karlova Univerzita v Praze a USDA US Forest Service(CZ) 161/79-982111; USDA FS Cooperative Agreement(US) AG 01CA-11242343-107; Grant US Agricultural Experimental Station(US) ILLU-65-0344; Deutsche ForschungsGemeinschaft(BG) 436 BUL 17/8/04 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518; CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : microsporidia * parasitology * biological control Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.288, year: 2006
Plowes, Nicola J.R; Adams, Eldridge S
Lanchester's models of attrition describe casualty rates during battles between groups as functions of the numbers of individuals and their fighting abilities. Originally developed to describe human warfare, Lanchester's square law has been hypothesized to apply broadly to social animals as well, with important consequences for their aggressive behaviour and social structure. According to the square law, the fighting ability of a group is proportional to the square of the number of individual...
In social insects, antimicrobial secretions are often used collectively for the benefit of the whole colony, which is an important component in social immunity. Many ant species build nests in which air circulation can be controlled. Volatile antimicrobial agents would be ideal in implementing socia...
There is increasing evidence that exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal levels impairs colonies of honeybee and other pollinators. Recently, it was found that sublethal contamination with neonicotinoids also affect growth and behavior of ants. In this study, we exposed red imported fi...
Harvey, Jeffrey A. [Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Heteren (Netherlands). Dept. of Terrestrial Ecology; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D. [University of Keele, Staffordshire (United Kingdom). Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology. Dept. of Biological Sciences
The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)
Harvey, J.A.; Hamilton, J.G.C.; Ward, R.D.
The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L.longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to
Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D.
The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)
Harvey, Jeffrey A; Hamilton, James G C; Ward, Richard D
The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L.longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies.
LeBrun, Edward G; Plowes, Robert M; Gilbert, Lawrence E
1. Habitat disturbance and species invasions interact in natural systems, making it difficult to isolate the primary cause of ecosystem degradation. A general understanding requires case studies of how disturbance and invasion interact across a variety of ecosystem - invasive species combinations. 2. Dramatic losses in ant diversity followed the invasion of central Texas by red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). However, recent manipulative studies in Florida revealed no effect on ant diversity following the removal of S. invicta from a disturbed pasture habitat, but moderate loss of diversity associated with their introduction into undisturbed habitat and no invasion occurred without disturbance. Thus, the importance of S. invicta in driving diversity loss and its ability to invade undisturbed systems is unresolved. 3. We examine the distribution and abundance of a large monogyne S. invicta population and its association with the co-occurring ant assemblage at a site in south Texas close to the aridity tolerance limit of S. invicta. 4. We document that moisture modulates S. invicta densities. Further, soil disturbing habitat manipulations greatly increase S. invicta population densities. However, S. invicta penetrates all habitats regardless of soil disturbance history. In contrast, controlled burns depress S. invicta densities. 5. In habitats where S. invicta is prevalent, it completely replaces native fire ants. However, S. invicta impacts native ants as a whole less strongly. Intriguingly, native ants responded distinctly to S. invicta in different environments. In wet, undisturbed environments, high S. invicta abundance disrupts the spatial structure of the ant assemblage by increasing clumping and is associated with reduced species density, while in dry-disturbed habitats, sites with high S. invicta abundance possess high numbers of native species. Analyses of co-occurrence indicate that reduced species density in wet
Workers of the imported fire ants, including red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, black imported fire ants, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid (S. invicta × S. richteri), are vicious stingers. Since the venomous sting is a significant medical problem to humans, the chemistry of import...
Todd, B.D.; Rothermel, B.B.; Reed, R.N.; Luhring, T.M.; Schlatter, K.; Trenkamp, L.; Gibbons, J.W.
Altered habitats have been suggested to facilitate red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) colonization and dispersal, possibly compounding effects of habitat alteration on native wildlife. In this study, we compared colonization intensity of wood cover boards by S. invicta among four forest management treatments in South Carolina, USA: an unharvested control (>30 years old); a partially thinned stand; a clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; and a clearcut with coarse woody debris removed. Additionally, we compared dehydration rates and survival of recently metamorphosed salamanders (marbled salamanders, Ambystoma opacum, and mole salamanders, A. talpoideum) among treatments. We found that the number of wood cover boards colonized by S. invicta differed significantly among treatments, being lowest in the unharvested forest treatments and increasing with the degree of habitat alteration. Salamanders that were maintained in experimental field enclosures to study water loss were unexpectedly subjected to high levels of S. invicta predation that differed among forest treatments. All known predation by S. invicta was restricted to salamanders in clearcuts. The amount of vegetative ground cover was inversely related to the likelihood of S. invicta predation of salamanders. Our results show that S. invicta abundance increases with habitat disturbance and that this increased abundance has negative consequences for amphibians that remain in altered habitats. Our findings also suggest that the presence of invasive S. invicta may compromise the utility of cover boards and other techniques commonly used in herpetological studies in the Southeast. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Effects of piperidine and piperideine alkaloids from the venom of red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, on Pythium ultimum Trow growth in vitro and the application of piperideine alkaloids to control cucumber..
Pythium ultimum Trow is a plant pathogen that causes significant yield losses on many economically important crops. Chemical seed treatment has been used for disease control. In searching for alternatives, the venom alkaloids from red imported fire ant were tested against P. ultimum in vitro and to ...
Shoemaker, D D; Ross, K G; Keller, L; Vargo, E L; Werren, J H
Wolbachia are cytoplasmically inherited bacteria that induce a variety of effects with fitness consequences on host arthropods, including cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, male-killing and feminization. We report here the presence of Wolbachia in native South American populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, but the apparent absence of the bacteria in introduced populations of this pest species in the USA. The Wolbachia strains in native S. invicta are of two divergent types (A and B), and the frequency of infection varies dramatically between geographical regions and social forms of this host. Survey data reveal that Wolbachia also are found in other native fire ant species within the Solenopsis saevissima species complex from South America, including S. richteri. This latter species also has been introduced in the USA, where it lacks Wolbachia. Sequence data reveal complete phylogenetic concordance between mtDNA haplotype in S. invicta and Wolbachia infection type (A or B). In addition, the mtDNA and associated group A Wolbachia strain in S. invicta are more closely related to the mtDNA and Wolbachia strain found in S. richteri than they are to the mtDNA and associated group B Wolbachia in S. invicta. These data are consistent with historical introgression of S. richteri cytoplasmic elements into S. invicta populations, resulting in enhanced infection and mtDNA polymorphisms in S. invicta. Wolbachia may have significant fitness effects on these hosts (either directly or by cytoplasmic incompatibility) and therefore these microbes potentially could be used in biological control programmes to suppress introduced fire ant populations.
Nageswara Rao, S; Muthulakshmi, M; Kanginakudru, S; Nagaraju, J
The pathogenicity, mode of transmission, tissue specificity of infection and the small subunit rRNA (SSU-rRNA) gene sequences of the three new microsporidian isolates from the silkworm Bombyx mori were studied. Out of the three, NIK-2r revealed life cycle features and SSU-rRNA gene sequence similar to Nosema bombycis, suggesting that it is N. bombycis. The other two, NIK-4m and NIK-3h, differed from each other as well as from N. bombycis. NIK-4m was highly pathogenic and did not show any vertical transmission, in accordance with the apparent lack of gonadal infection, whereas NIK-3h was less pathogenic and vertical transmission was not detected but could not be excluded. Phylogenetic analysis based on SSU-rRNA gene sequence placed NIK-3h and NIK-4m in a distinct clade that included almost all the Vairimorpha species and Nosema species that infect lepidopteran and non-lepidopteran hosts, while NIK-2r was included in a clade containing almost all the Nosema isolates that infect only lepidopteran hosts. Thus, we have presented molecular evidence that one of the three isolates is in fact the type species N. bombycis, while the other two isolates are Vairimorpha spp. There was distinct separation of microsporidian isolates infecting only lepidopteran hosts and those infecting lepidopteran and non-lepidopteran hosts, reflecting possible co-evolution of hosts and microsporidian isolates.
Full Text Available Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae encompasses ant species commonly called fire ants because of their painful sting. The many physiological effects of the venom are caused by 2-methyl-6-alkyl and/or alkenylpiperidine alkaloids. The variation in piperidine alkaloid structures has useful taxonomic characters. The most well studied Solenopsis species is S. invicta, which was accidentally imported into the USA in the 1930s from South America. It quickly spread throughout the southern USA and is now a major invasive pest ant in the USA and in other parts of the world. Interestingly, the invasive S. invicta has largely displaced a native USA fire ant, S. geminata, from the southern USA. We explore the possibility that differences in venom chemistry could be correlated with this displacement. The cis and trans alkaloids from body extracts of workers and alate queens of S. geminata were separated by silica gel chromatography, identified, and quantitated by GC-MS analysis. Both workers and alate queens produce primarily cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-n-undecyl-piperidines, as well as other minor alkaloid components. Imported fire ant, S. invicta, alate queens produce the same alkaloids as S. geminata alate queens, but in contrast S. invicta workers produce piperidine alkaloids with longer side chains, which are purported to be physiologically more effective. These results are discussed in relation to the evolutionary progression of fire ant venom alkaloids and displacement of S. geminata by S. invicta in the USA.
Intraspecific variability in social organization is common, yet the underlying causes are rarely known1-3. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, the existence of two divergent forms of social organisation is under the control of a single Mendelian genomic element marked by two variants of an odorant b...
Characterization of cuticular biomolecular assemblages for imported fire ants permit basic distinctions among colonies of S. invicta, S. richteri, and their hybrids; thus, providing opportunities to investigate details of landscape ecology for this species complex as well as to assess levels of inva...
Koolitusfirmade TOP. Vt. samas: Käibe TOP 10; Käibekasvu TOP 10; Kasumi TOP 10; Kasumi kasvu TOP 10; Rentaabluse TOP 10; Omakapitali tootlikkuse TOP 10; Signe Sillasoo. Invicta tahab lähiaastail laieneda Eestis ja mujalgi; Ketlin Priilinn. Addenda kasutas ära majanduse soodsa seisu. Kommenteerib Heli Sõmer. Juhtide hoiakute muutmisega tõus esikolmikusse
Thomas G. Shelton; J.T. Vogt; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel
Monthly abundance and caste proportions of subterranean termites (Reticulitennes spp.) inhabiting red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) mounds were recorded during 1999 and 2000 from a relatively undisturbed forest edge in Tuskegee, Alabama. Temperature data were also recorded at these mounds; mean air, soil, and mound temperatures followed a sine model over...
Valles, S.M.; Porter, S.D.
Solenopsis invicta virus (SINV-1) is a positive-stranded RNA virus recently found to infect all stages of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV-1 and a second genotype have been tentatively assigned to the Dicistroviridae (Mayo 2002). Infected individuals or colonies did not exhibit any immediate, discernible symptoms in the field. However, under stress from introduction into the laboratory, brood death was often observed among infected colonies, ultimately leading to the death of the entire colony (Valles et al. 2004). These characteristics are consistent with other insect-infecting positive-stranded RNA viruses. They often persist as inapparent, asymptomatic infections that, under certain conditions, induce replication within the host, resulting in observable symptoms and often death (Christian and Scotti 1998; Fernandez et al. 2002). The SINV infection rate among colonies was reported to be around 25% in Gainesville, Florida (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV vertical and horizontal transmission were inferred based on RT-PCR detection of virus genome in eggs and successful colony to colony transfer under lab conditions (Valles et al. 2004). However, the exact mechanisms by which the virus is spread from nest to nest in the field are unknown. Our results indicate that SINV does not replicate within Pseudacteon decapitating flies that parasitize S. invicta. Flies appeared to develop normally from SINV-infected S. invicta workers. Mechanical transmission of SINV to uninfected ants by oviposition appears unlikely
Ecologists use stable isotopes to infer diets and trophic levels of animals in food webs, yet some assumptions underlying these inferences have not been thoroughly tested. We used laboratory-reared colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Formicidae: Solenopsidini) to test the effects of metamorphosis,...
Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox
Full Text Available Although common in Brazil, the biology of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith is still poorly studied. Larval descriptions are useful to genus-level ant systematics and sometimes to species-level taxonomy. This study presents a detailed description of juveniles of S. saevissima from Brazil, which were compared with Brazilian specimens of Solenopsis invicta Buren, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, and Solenopsis altipunctata Pitts. Different larval instars were separated by diagnostic morphological traits which were confirmed by observing moults. Reproductive larvae could be easily sorted by their distinctive body dimensions and shape. Contrary to previous reports on this species, the larvae of S. saevissima proved to be generally identical to those of S. invicta, while a few specimens resembled those of other close species, such as Solenopsis megergates Trager. Mature larvae thus presented considerable intraspecific variation in some characters recently proposed to aid fire ant species separation (morphology of head hairs.
AS-i Invicta turundusjuht Urmas Pail ja Sideameti klienditeeninduse osakonna juhataja Marge Ensling koosolekute läbiviimisest oma ettevõttes. Lisad: Ajakavast tuleb rangelt kinni pidada; Kõik strateegilised ideed aruta koosolekul läbi; Koosolekule kutsuge vaid asjasse puutuvad inimesed. Vt. ka lk. 15: Karl Multer. Telefonikoosolek aitab hoida töötajate aega kokku. Lisa: Parema tulemuse nimel tuleb valida rahulikum tempo
Reed, J J; Puckett, R T; Gold, R E
Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are adversely affected by phorid flies in the genus Pseudacteon by instigating defensive behaviors in their hosts, and in turn reducing the efficiency of S. invicta foraging. Multiple Pseudacteon species have been released in Texas, and research has been focused on the establishment and spread of these introduced biological control agents. Field experiments were conducted to determine bait particle size selection of S. invicta when exposed to phorid populations. Four different particle sizes of two candidate baits were offered to foragers (one provided by a pesticide manufacturer, and a laboratory-created bait). Foragers selectively were attracted to, and removed more 1-1.4-mm particles than any other bait size. The industry-provided bait is primarily made of particles in the 1.4-2.0 mm size, larger than what was selected by the ants in this study. While there was a preference for foragers to be attracted to and rest on the industry-provided blank bait, S. invicta removed more of the laboratory-created bait from the test vials. There was an abundance of workers with head widths ranging from 0.5-0.75 mm collected from baits. This was dissimilar from a previous study wherein phorid flies were not active and in which large workers were collected in higher abundance at the site. This implies that phorid fly activity caused a shift for red imported fire ant colonies to have fewer large foragers. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Küsimusele, kuidas säilitada hästi töötav meeskond ja ka võimekas müügimees, otsivad lahendusi CV-Onlineþi turundusjuht Helen Hinno, Invicta tegevjuht Peeter Puskai, OÜ Sirje Tammiste Konsultatsioonibüroo koolitaja Sirje Tammiste, AS-i NT Marine müügi- ja teenindusjuht Jaan Lember. Vt. ka vastukaja Director nr. 2 lk. 42
Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie
Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.
van Keulen, H; Gutell, R R; Gates, M A; Campbell, S R; Erlandsen, S L; Jarroll, E L; Kulda, J; Meyer, E A
Complete small-subunit rRNA (SSU-rRNA) coding region sequences were determined for two species of the intestinal parasite Giardia: G. ardeae and G. muris, both belonging to the order Diplomonadida, and a free-living member of this order, Hexamita sp. These sequences were compared to published SSU-rDNA sequences from a third member of the genus Giardia, G. duodenalis (often called G. intestinalis or G. lamblia) and various representative organisms from other taxa. Of the three Giardia sequences analyzed, the SSU-rRNA from G. muris is the smallest (1432 bases as compared to 1435 and 1453 for G. ardeae and G. duodenalis, respectively) and has the lowest G+C content (58.9%). The Hexamita SSU-rRNA is the largest in this group, containing 1550 bases. Because the sizes of the SSU-rRNA are prokaryotic rather than typically eukaryotic, the secondary structures of the SSU-rRNAs were constructed. These structures show a number of typically eukaryotic signature sequences. Sequence alignments based on constraints imposed by secondary structure were used for construction of a phylogenetic tree for these four taxa. The results show that of the four diplomonads represented, the Giardia species form a distinct group. The other diplomonad Hexamita and the microsporidium Vairimorpha necatrix appear to be distinct from Giardia.
Full Text Available We revise the four species of Kaszabister Mazur, 1972, one of which, Kaszabister barrigai sp. n., is described as new. The other species in the genus are K. rubellus (Erichson, 1834, K. ferrugineus (Kirsch, 1873 and K. carinatus (Lewis, 1888. The species are principally known from the subtropics of South America, with one in Central America. Lectotypes are designated for K. rubellus and K. ferrugineus, and a key is provided for all the species. Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood, mainly S. invicta Buren and S. saevissima (Smith, are documented as hosts of three of the four species.
Haridusministeeriumi eestvõttel on alustatud diskussioone Eestile elukestva õppe strateegia koostamiseks. Moodustatud komisjonis on juhtiv koht on koolitusfirmade assotsiatsiooni Andras juhatuse esimehel prof. T. Märjal ja prof. Ü. Vooglaiul. Komisjoni koosseisu kuuluvad veel: Eesti Vabaharidusliidu juhatuse esimees I. Eesmaa, Kõrgema Kommertskooli õppetoolijuhataja T. Elenurm, TPÜ akadeemiline prorektor L. Jõgi, Mainori Majanduskooli rektor P. Kross, haridusministeeriumi täiskasvanuhariduse talituse juhataja T. Ots, koolitusfirma Invicta juhatuse esimees M. Pärjamäe, Rocca al Mare Kooli juhataja H. Tamjärv, Viljandi Kultuurikolledži prof. R. Valgma jt.
Epperson, D.M.; Allen, Craig R.
Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20???40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.
Kafle, Lekhnath; Wu, Wen-Jer; Shih, Cheng-Jen
A new water-resistant fire ant bait (T-bait; cypermethrin 0.128%) consisting of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) as a carrier was developed and evaluated against a standard commercial bait (Advion; indoxacarb 0.045%) under both laboratory and field conditions. When applying the normal T-bait or Advion in the laboratory, 100% of Solenopsis invicta Buren worker ants were killed within 4 days. However, when the T-bait and Advion were wetted, 70.6 and 39.7% of the ants were killed respectively. Under field conditions, dry T-bait and dry Advion had almost the same efficacy against ant colonies. However, when T-bait and Advion came in contact with water, the former's ability to kill S. invicta colonies in the field was only marginally reduced, while Advion lost virtually all of its activity. In addition, DDGS was also shown to be compatible with a number of other insecticides, such as d-allethrin, permethrin and pyrethrin. Based on its properties of remaining attractive to the fire ants when wetted, combined with its ant-killing abilities both in the laboratory and in the field, T-bait is an efficient fire ant bait, especially under moist conditions.
Full Text Available The fire ant Solenopsis invicta and its close relatives display an important social polymorphism involving differences in colony queen number. Colonies are headed by either a single reproductive queen (monogyne form or multiple queens (polygyne form. This variation in social organization is associated with variation at the gene Gp-9, with monogyne colonies harboring only B-like allelic variants and polygyne colonies always containing b-like variants as well. We describe naturally occurring variation at Gp-9 in fire ants based on 185 full-length sequences, 136 of which were obtained from S. invicta collected over much of its native range. While there is little overall differentiation between most of the numerous alleles observed, a surprising amount is found in the coding regions of the gene, with such substitutions usually causing amino acid replacements. This elevated coding-region variation may result from a lack of negative selection acting to constrain amino acid replacements over much of the protein, different mutation rates or biases in coding and non-coding sequences, negative selection acting with greater strength on non-coding than coding regions, and/or positive selection acting on the protein. Formal selection analyses provide evidence that the latter force played an important role in the basal b-like lineages coincident with the emergence of polygyny. While our data set reveals considerable paraphyly and polyphyly of S. invicta sequences with respect to those of other fire ant species, the b-like alleles of the socially polymorphic species are monophyletic. An expanded analysis of colonies containing alleles of this clade confirmed the invariant link between their presence and expression of polygyny. Finally, our discovery of several unique alleles bearing various combinations of b-like and B-like codons allows us to conclude that no single b-like residue is completely predictive of polygyne behavior and, thus, potentially causally
Xing P. Hu
Full Text Available This study provides empirical evidence that disturbing mound immediately before application, as opposed to label recommendation, did not reduce foraging activity of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, except for about 10-min delay in foraging. Despite the delayed foraging, there was no significant difference in the amount of baits foraged between disturbed and undisturbed colonies. Eventually, >96% of the baits were foraged, with the maximum removal occurred by 2 and 3 h, respectively, in summer and spring trial. The fastest and great amount of bait removal 1 h post-treatment occurred to baits placed on mound, followed by 0.18–0.3-m from mound base, and the slowest 1.08–1.2-m from mound base. All treatment gave 100% control 1 mo later, regardless of the season, without colony relocation or new colony invasion in the test plots.
Full Text Available VH (Link to library) VHD642 (Link to dictyBase) - - - Contig-U11361-1 - (Link to Or...iginal site) VHD642F 629 - - - - - - Show VHD642 Library VH (Link to library) Clone ID VHD642 (Link to dicty...Base) Atlas ID - NBRP ID - dictyBase ID - Link to Contig Contig-U11361-1 Original site URL http://dictycdb.b...us erato cDNA clone He_wd2a1_74D09 5' similar to UniRef90_UPI000051A2A9 Cluster related to UPI000051A2A9; PREDICT...DNA, mRNA sequence. 56 1e-12 4 EE133491 |EE133491.1 SiJWH07ADU Lausanne fire ant library Solenopsis invicta
Stuble, Katharine L.; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Carroll, C. Ronald
and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta......), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce......, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants...
Shonna R. Storz
Full Text Available A field survey of the southeastern United States showed that Pheidole obscurithorax Naves, an ant introduced from South America, inhabits a 80-km-wide band along the coast between Mobile, Alabama, and Tallahassee, Florida, and is continuing to increase its range. In Tallahassee P. obscurithorax is rapidly spreading, and its nest density increased by a factor of 6.4 over a two-year period. Evidence suggests that P. obscurithorax has spread gradually by natural means. It coexists with the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren, appears to be part of a largely exotic community of ants that are tolerant of highly disturbed habitats, and seems to have little negative effect on the ant communities that it invades.
Katherine C Horn
Full Text Available Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants.
Chen, Li; Sharma, Kavita R.; Fadamiro, Henry Y.
The phorid fly, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier, is an introduced parasitoid of imported fire ants, Solenopsis spp., in the USA. Although the assumption that phorid flies use fire ant alarm pheromones for host location is probably true, we demonstrated in a previous study the possible involvement of other ant semiochemicals in the response of P. tricuspis to fire ants. This study was conducted to determine the glandular sources and identity of the semiochemicals mediating this interaction. First, we tested the electroantennogram response of P. tricuspis to extracts of key body parts and glands of workers of the red imported fire ant, S. invicta Buren. The results confirm that the poison (venom) gland/sac is the key source of compounds which elicited strong antennal activity in P. tricuspis. Follow-up studies were conducted by using a combination of bioassay-guided fractionation and behavioral bioassays to test the hypothesis that attraction of this parasitoid to fire ants is mediated by venom alkaloids. The results confirm the response of P. tricuspis to physiologically relevant amounts of the two venom alkaloid fractions ( cis and trans alkaloid fractions) of S. invicta. Further analysis by coupled gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection revealed nine venom alkaloid components including two novel 2,6-dialkylpiperideines that elicited significant antennal activity in P. tricuspis. This is the first demonstration of the role of venom alkaloids of ants as attractants for their natural enemies. We propose a semiochemical-mediated host location mechanism for P. tricuspis involving both alarm pheromones and venom alkaloids. The ecological significance of these findings, including the attraction of male P. tricuspis to fire ant venom alkaloids, possibly for mate location, is discussed.
Riqueza de formigas de solo na praia da Pedreira, Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS, Brasil Richness of ground-dwelling ants in the Praia da Pedreira, Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS, Brazil
Full Text Available Neste trabalho são listadas as espécies de formigas de solo encontradas em três ambientes (mata nativa, barreira pedregosa e areias da orla na praia da Pedreira, localizada na Zona de Uso Intensivo do Parque Estadual de Itapuã, município de Viamão, RS. No total, foram identificadas 60 espécies representantes de 24 gêneros, 18 tribos e oito subfamílias (Dolichoderinae, Ecitoninae, Ectatomminae, Formicinae, Heteroponerinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae e Pseudomyrmecinae. Dos três ambientes amostrados, de acordo com o estimador de riqueza jackknife de primeira ordem, a mata nativa apresentou a maior riqueza (Sest= 37,5, seguindo-se a barreira pedregosa (Sest= 8,9 e as areias da orla (Sest= 5,9. Apenas Acromyrmex laticeps, Crematogaster sp. e Solenopsis invicta foram comuns aos três ambientes. Neste trabalho é feito o primeiro registro de ocorrência de Pachycondyla crenata e Pachycondyla laevigata (Ponerinae para o Rio Grande do Sul.Aiming to improve the knowledge on the Brazilian biodiversity, especially the ant fauna of Rio Grande do Sul State (Southern Brazil, this survey was conducted in the Praia da Pedreira, a site of Intensive Use of the Parque Estadual de Itapuã. Ground-dwelling ant species were surveyed for three environments in the beach (native forest, rock bar and sand bar, during 12 months (April/2000 - March/2001. Collections resulted in 60 species belonging to 24 genera, 18 tribes and eight subfamilies (Dolichoderinae, Ecitoninae, Ectatomminae, Formicinae, Heteroponerinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. According to the first order jackknife estimator, the native forest area presented the greatest richness (Sest= 37.5, followed by rock bar (Sest= 8.9 and sand bar (Sest= 5.9. Only Acromyrmex laticeps, Crematogaster sp. and Solenopsis invicta were common to all three environments. This paper presents the first record of Pachycondyla crenata and Pachycondyla laevigata (Ponerinae occurrence in the Rio Grande do Sul
Wang, John; Ross, Kenneth G; Keller, Laurent
Explaining how interactions between genes and the environment influence social behavior is a fundamental research goal, yet there is limited relevant information for species exhibiting natural variation in social organization. The fire ant Solenopsis invicta is characterized by a remarkable form of social polymorphism, with the presence of one or several queens per colony and the expression of other phenotypic and behavioral differences being completely associated with allelic variation at a single Mendelian factor marked by the gene Gp-9. Microarray analyses of adult workers revealed that differences in the Gp-9 genotype are associated with the differential expression of an unexpectedly small number of genes, many of which have predicted functions, implying a role in chemical communication relevant to the regulation of colony queen number. Even more surprisingly, worker gene expression profiles are more strongly influenced by indirect effects associated with the Gp-9 genotypic composition within their colony than by the direct effect of their own Gp-9 genotype. This constitutes an unusual example of an "extended phenotype" and suggests a complex genetic architecture with a single Mendelian factor, directly and indirectly influencing the individual behaviors that, in aggregate, produce an emergent colony-level phenotype.
Hoffman, D R
The complete amino acid sequences have been determined by solid-phase protein sequencing for eight different vespid venom antigen 5 molecules. These include five species of yellow jackets, Vespula squamosa, V. flavopilosa, V. germanica, V. pensylvanica and V. vidua, representing all three species groups; two variants from the European hornet, Vespa crabro; and a species of paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus, from a second subgenus. The new sequences were compared with the seven previously published sequences from yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, and to that of Solenopsis invicta 3 allergen from imported fire ant venom. These comparisons provided structural evidence to support the observed high degree of cross-reactivity among the antigens of the common group of yellow jackets and among those of the two common North American subgenera of paper wasps studied. The antigen 5 of V. squamosa and of V. vidua were significantly different from those of the vulgaris group. Common features that could generate immunologic cross-reactivity were seen among the antigen 5 molecules of hornets of both genera and among those of yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps. The imported fire ant allergen has only minimal conserved areas in common with the vespid allergens, which explains the lack of observed IgE cross-reactivity. These results provide the structural basis for the cross-reactivity patterns observed in clinical practice and suggest that the commercial extracts of yellow jacket and paper wasp could be prepared with fewer carefully selected species.
Lloyd W. Morrison
Full Text Available Pseudacteon parasitoids are potential biocontrol agents of invasive Solenopsis fire ants. Pseudacteon species that parasitize the invasive S. invicta Buren and S. richteri Forel have been introduced to, and naturally dispersed across, the southeastern USA, although there is no evidence yet that Solenopsis host ant populations have decreased. The ability of introduced Pseudacteon species to regulate Solenopsis populations will depend upon the relative importance of top-down effects in the recipient communities. In this paper, I examine the characteristics of the Pseudacteon/Solenopsis parasitoid/host system and evaluate the extent to which research findings are consistent with top-down control. Laboratory and field experiments evaluating Solenopsis population regulation have been equivocal, and overall the available evidence provides little support for strong top-down effects in this system. Competitive exclusion may occur among introduced Pseudacteon species, and future efforts at biological control are likely to be more efficacious if they focus on other types of natural enemies.
Nguyen, Khuong B.; Shapiro-Ilan, David I.; Fuxa, James R.; Wood, Bruce W.; Bertolotti, Maria A.; Adams, Byron J.
Two Steinernema isolates found in Louisiana and Mississippi were later identified as isolates of S. rarum. DNA sequences of ITS regions of the United States isolates are identical with sequences of Argentinean S. rarum strains Samiento and Noetinger and differ by two bases from the Arroyo Cabral isolate from Córdoba, Argentina. SEM observations revealed several new structures in the isolates from the US: female face views have a hexagonal-star perioral disc and eye-shaped lips; some females do not have cephalic papillae; lateral fields of infective juveniles are variable; there are two openings observed close to the posterior edge of the cloaca. Virulence of the US isolates to Anthonomus grandis, Diaprepes abbreviatus, Solenopsis invicta, Coptotermes formosanus, Agrotis ipsilon, Spodoptera frugiperda, and Trichoplusia ni and reproductive potential were evaluated in comparison with other heterorhabditid and steinernematid nematodes. Results such as particularly high virulence to S. frugiperda indicate that the biocontrol potential of the new S. rarum strains merits further study. PMID:19259427
Wiltz, B A; Suiter, D R; Gardner, W A
Bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam were evaluated for activity against the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mobility impairment and lethal times were determined after topical treatments. Both immobilization and mortality occurred most quickly with bifenthrin, followed by thiamethoxam, chlorfenapyr, and fipronil. Mortality due to horizontal exposure was evaluated at 10, 20, or 30 degrees C, with three ratios of topically treated donor ant corpses to live recipients (5, 10, or 20% donors). Bifenthrin had the greatest horizontal activity of the chemicals tested. For chlorfenapyr, the only treatments having higher mortality than controls were the highest percentage donors at either 10 or 30 degrees C. Horizontal activity of fipronil was temperature dependent only with the highest proportion of donors and was lower than that ofbifenthrin but higher than that of chlorfenapyr or thiamethoxam. Mean mortality due to thiamethoxam was similar to that with chlorfenapyr. Significant mortality occurred in all of the 20 and 30 degrees C thiamethoxam treatments, but none of the 10 degrees C treatments. Effectiveness as a barrier was evaluated by providing a choice between bridges treated with insecticide or water. Although bifenthrin did not provide an impenetrable barrier, it was the only treatment having fewer ants than its paired control bridge. Mortality data suggest that a reduction in recruitment rather than repellency account for this result.
Gravish, Nick; Gold, Gregory; Zangwill, Andrew; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.
Many social animals move and communicate within confined spaces. In subterranean fire ants Solenopsis invicta, mobility within crowded nest tunnels is important for resource and information transport. Within confined tunnels, communication and traffic flow are at odds: trafficking ants communicate through tactile interactions while stopped, yet ants that stop to communicate impose physical obstacles on the traffic. We monitor the bi-directional flow of fire ant workers in laboratory tunnels of varied diameter D. The persistence time of communicating ant aggregations, τ, increases approximately linearly with the number of participating ants, n. The sensitivity of traffic flow increases as D decreases and diverges at a minimum diameter, Dc. A cellular automata model incorporating minimal traffic features--excluded volume and communication duration--reproduces features of the experiment. From the model we identify a competition between information transfer and the need to maintain jam-free traffic flow. We show that by balancing information transfer and traffic flow demands, an optimum group strategy exists which maximizes information throughput. We acknowledge funding from NSF PoLS #0957659 and #PHY-1205878.
Yang, Xiuhao; Henderson, Gregg; Mao, Lixin; Evans, Ahmad
A ground penetrating radar (GPR) technique was used to detect Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) and red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) hazards and risks (targets) in a soil levee at the London Avenue Canal in New Orleans, LA. To make this assessment, GPR signal scans were examined for features produced by termite or ant activities and potential sources of food and shelter such as nests, tree roots, and voids (tunnels). The total scanned length of the soil levee was 4,125 m. The average velocity and effective depth of the radar penetration was 0.080 m/ns and 0.61 m, respectively. Four hundred twenty-seven targets were identified. Tree roots (38), voids (31), fire ant nests (209), and metal objects (149) were detected, but no Formosan termite carton nests were identified. The lack of identified termite nests may be related to drowning events at the time to the flood. Based on the target density (TD), the two new floodwall and levee sections that were rebuilt or reinforced after they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were determined to be at low potential risk from termites and ants. A merging target density (MTD) method indicated a high potential risk near one of the breached sections still remains. Foraging and nesting activity of Formosan subterranean termites and red imported fire ants may be a contributory factor to the levee failure at the London Avenue Canal.
Graham, Sean P; Freidenfelds, Nicole A; Thawley, Christopher J; Robbins, Travis R; Langkilde, Tracy
Invasive species represent a substantial threat to native species worldwide. Research on the impacts of invasive species on wild living vertebrates has focused primarily on population-level effects. The sublethal, individual-level effects of invaders may be equally important but are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the physiological stress response of a native lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) within two experimental contexts: directly exposing lizards to a fire ant attack and housing lizards with fire ants in seminatural field enclosures. Lizards directly exposed to brief attack by fire ants had elevated concentrations of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT), suggesting that these encounters can be physiologically stressful. However, lizards exposed for longer periods to fire ants in field enclosures had lower concentrations of CORT. This may indicate that the combined effects of confinement and fire ant exposure have pushed lizards into allostatic overload. However, lizards from fire ant enclosures appeared to have intact negative feedback controls of the stress response, evidenced by functioning adrenocorticotropic hormone responsiveness and lack of suppression of innate immunity (plasma bactericidal capacity). We review previous studies examining the stress response of wild vertebrates to various anthropogenic stressors and discuss how these-in combination with our results-underscore the importance of considering context (the length, frequency, magnitude, and types of threat) when assessing these impacts.
Phonekeo, Sulisay; Mlot, Nathan; Monaenkova, Daria; Hu, David L.; Tovey, Craig
In the aftermath of a flood, fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, cluster into temporary encampments. The encampments can contain hundreds of thousands of ants and reach over 30 ants high. How do ants build such tall structures without being crushed? In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we investigate the shape and rate of construction of ant towers around a central support. The towers are bell shaped, consistent with towers of constant strength such as the Eiffel tower, where each element bears an equal load. However, unlike the Eiffel tower, the ant tower is built through a process of trial and error, whereby failed portions avalanche until the final shape emerges. High-speed and novel X-ray videography reveal that the tower constantly sinks and is rebuilt, reminiscent of large multicellular systems such as human skin. We combine the behavioural rules that produce rafts on water with measurements of adhesion and attachment strength to model the rate of growth of the tower. The model correctly predicts that the growth rate decreases as the support diameter increases. This work may inspire the design of synthetic swarms capable of building in vertical layers.
Craig R. Allen
Full Text Available Many populations of wild animals and plants are declining and face increasing threats from habitat fragmentation and loss as well as exposure to stressors ranging from toxicants to diseases to invasive nonindigenous species. We describe and demonstrate a spatially explicit ecological risk assessment that allows for the incorporation of a broad array of information that may influence the distribution of an invasive species, toxicants, or other stressors, and the incorporation of landscape variables that may influence the spread of a species or substances. The first step in our analyses is to develop species models and quantify spatial overlap between stressor and target organisms. Risk is assessed as the product of spatial overlap and a hazard index based on target species vulnerabilities to the stressor of interest. We illustrate our methods with an example in which the stressor is the ecologically destructive nonindigenous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and the targets are two declining vertebrate species in the state of South Carolina, USA. A risk approach that focuses on landscapes and that is explicitly spatial is of particular relevance as remaining undeveloped lands become increasingly uncommon and isolated and more important in the management and recovery of species and ecological systems. Effective ecosystem management includes the control of multiple stressors, including invasive species with large impacts, understanding where those impacts may be the most severe, and implementing management strategies to reduce impacts.
Full Text Available The importance of mutualism is receiving more attention in community ecology. In this study, the fire ant Solenopsis invicta was found to take advantage of the shelters constructed by the leaf roller Sylepta derogata to protect mealybugs (Phenacoccus solenopsis against their natural enemies. This protective effect of fire ant tending on the survival of mealybugs in shelters was observed when enemies and leaf rollers were simultaneously present. Specifically, fire ants moved the mealybugs inside the shelters produced by S. derogata on enemy-infested plants. Compared with that in plants without ants, the survival of mealybugs in shelters in the presence of natural enemies in plants with ants markedly improved. Both the protection of ants and the shelters provided by leaf rollers did not affect the survival of mealybugs in the absence of enemies in plants. Ants and leaf rollers significantly improved the survival of mealybugs in predator-infested plants, whereas no such improvement was observed in parasitoid-infested ones.
Full Text Available The antimicrobial properties of essential oils have been documented, and their use as “biocides” is gaining popularity. The aims of this study were to analyze the chemical composition and assess the biological activities of Hedychium essential oils. Oils from 19 Hedychium species and cultivars were analyzed by gas chromatography (GC and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS techniques. The antifungal and insecticidal activities of these oils were tested against Colletotrichum acutatum, C. fragariae, and C. gloeosporioides, and three insects, the azalea lace bug (Stephanitis pyrioides, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti, and the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta. Hedychium oils were rich in monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, especially 1,8-cineole (0.1%–42%, linalool (<0.1%–56%, a-pinene (3%–17%, b-pinene (4%–31%, and (E-nerolidol (0.1%–20%. Hedychium oils had no antifungal effect on C. gloeosporioides, C. fragariae, and C. acutatum, but most Hedychium oils effectively killed azalea lace bugs. The oils also show promise as an adult mosquito repellent, but they would make rather poor larvicides or adulticides for mosquito control. Hedychium oils acted either as a fire ant repellent or attractant, depending on plant genotype and oil concentration.
Alison A Bockoven
Full Text Available Individuals vary within a species in many ecologically important ways, but the causes and consequences of such variation are often poorly understood. Foraging behavior is among the most profitable and risky activities in which organisms engage and is expected to be under strong selection. Among social insects there is evidence that within-colony variation in traits such as foraging behavior can increase colony fitness, but variation between colonies and the potential consequences of such variation are poorly documented. In this study, we tested natural populations of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, for the existence of colony and regional variation in foraging behavior and tested the persistence of this variation over time and across foraging habitats. We also reared single-lineage colonies in standardized environments to explore the contribution of colony lineage. Fire ants from natural populations exhibited significant and persistent colony and regional-level variation in foraging behaviors such as extra-nest activity, exploration, and discovery of and recruitment to resources. Moreover, colony-level variation in extra-nest activity was significantly correlated with colony growth, suggesting that this variation has fitness consequences. Lineage of the colony had a significant effect on extra-nest activity and exploratory activity and explained approximately half of the variation observed in foraging behaviors, suggesting a heritable component to colony-level variation in behavior.
Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng-Jen
The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective particle size of DDGS (distiller's dried grains with solubles) as fire ant bait carrier, as well as the most effective concentration of cypermethrin as a toxicant against the red imported fire ant (RIFA) Solenopsis invicta Buren under laboratory conditions. The DDGS particle size did not affect the fire ant's preference for the bait, but it did affect the mass of DDGS being carried back to the nest. The size of the DDGS particles and the mass of DDGS being carried back to the nest were positively correlated. The most efficient particle size of DDGS was 0.8-2 mm. The concentration of cypermethrin has a specific range for killing fire ants in an efficient manner. Neither a very low nor a very high concentration of cypermethrin was able to kill fire ants efficiently. The most effective concentration of cypermethrin was 0.13% in DDGS when mixed with 15% shrimp shell powders and 11% soybean oil. Based on its ability to kill fire ants when mixed with cypermethrin, as well as the advantage of having a larger area coverage when sprayed in the field, DDGS as the carrier and cypermethrin as the toxicant can be considered to be an efficient way to prepare fire ant bait for controlling fire ants in infested areas. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.
Zhang, Qing-He; McDonald, Danny L; Hoover, Doreen R; Aldrich, Jeffrey R; Schneidmiller, Rodney G
A new invader, the "tawny crazy ant", Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Formicinae), is displacing the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae), in the southern U.S., likely through its superior chemical arsenal and communication. Alone, formic acid is unattractive, but this venom (= poison) acid powerfully synergizes attraction of tawny crazy ants to volatiles from the Dufour's gland secretion of N. fulva workers, including the two major components, undecane and 2-tridecanone. The unexpected pheromonal synergism between the Dufour's gland and the venom gland appears to be another key factor, in addition to previously known defensive and detoxification semiochemical features, for the successful invasion and domination of N. fulva in the southern U.S. This synergism is an efficient mechanism enabling N. fulva workers to outcompete Solenopsis and other ant species for food and territory. From a practical standpoint, judicious point-source release formulation of tawny crazy ant volatiles may be pivotal for enhanced attract-and-kill management of this pest.
Fritz, Gary N; Fritz, Ann H; Vander Meer, Robert K
With the exception of an airplane equipped with nets, no method has been developed that successfully samples red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, sexuals in mating/dispersal flights throughout their potential altitudinal trajectories. We developed and tested a method for sampling queens and males during mating flights at altitudinal intervals reaching as high as "140 m. Our trapping system uses an electric winch and a 1.2-m spindle bolted to a swiveling platform. The winch dispenses up to 183 m of Kevlar-core, nylon rope and the spindle stores 10 panels (0.9 by 4.6 m each) of nylon tulle impregnated with Tangle-Trap. The panels can be attached to the rope at various intervals and hoisted into the air by using a 3-m-diameter, helium-filled balloon. Raising or lowering all 10 panels takes approximately 15-20 min. This trap also should be useful for altitudinal sampling of other insects of medical importance.
Susete do Rocio Chiarello Penteado
Full Text Available The study of the relationship between species or populations is an excellent tool to learn about ecological phenomena. Among the possible interaction between two species, it is highlighted the mutualism between ants and insects that produce honeydew. While honeydew is "garbage" for the aphids it can be a food source for ants. The type of interaction between aphids and their natural enemies, known as "intraguild predation" or predation of natural enemies that share the same prey is an interaction that occurs in aphid communities. The majority of natural enemies in this system interact asymmetrically according to differences in body size, feeding strategy and priorities of each species. In agroecosystems, the consequence of this relation becomes particularly important for the biological control of pests of economic importance. In Brazil, few publications refer to the association among ants, aphids and their natural enemies, specifically in forest areas. Thus, this work had the objective to review studies regarding these association and discuss a field observed case involving the giant conifer aphid, Cinara atlantica (Hemiptera: Aphididae, its natural enemies and the ants Solenopsis invicta and Camponotus rufipes, occurring on Pinus taeda.
Full Text Available Sol i 2 is a potent allergen in Solenopsis invicta venom, and most humans exhibit reactivity to it. The Sol gem 2 allergen found in the venom of the Thai tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata was analysed in the present study. The protein was present in higher amounts than other proteins, as determined by SDS-PAGE, and presumably has allergenic properties similar to those of Sol i 2. Sol gem 2 molecular weight is 28 and 15 kDa, respectively, under non-reducing and reducing conditions, indicating that its native form is a dimer. LC-MS/MS analysis confirmed its similarity to Sol i 2. The mono/dimeric form of Sol gem 2 was determined to be relevant by proteomic approach and immunoblotting. An anti-Sol gem 2 antibody was produced in mice, with a titer greater than 1:800 according to the Western blotting analysis. The Sol gem 2-neutralising activity of this antibody was determined in crickets. The paralytic dose 50 (PD50 of crude S. geminata venom was elevated from 0.18 mg/g of body weight to more than 0.90 mg/g of body weight after preincubation with antibody at a ratio of 1:1. These results suggest that Sol gem 2 plays an important role in mediating the effects of the piperidine derivatives in the venom.
Gotzek, Dietrich; Ross, Kenneth G
Expression of colony social organization in fire ants appears to be under the control of a single Mendelian factor of large effect. Variation in colony queen number in Solenopsis invicta and its relatives is associated with allelic variation at the gene Gp-9, but not with variation at other unlinked genes; workers regulate queen identity and number on the basis of Gp-9 genotypic compatibility. Nongenetic factors, such as prior social experience, queen reproductive status, and local environment, have negligible effects on queen numbers which illustrates the nearly complete penetrance of Gp-9. As predicted, queen number can be manipulated experimentally by altering worker Gp-9 genotype frequencies. The Gp-9 allele lineage associated with polygyny in South American fire ants has been retained across multiple speciation events, which may signal the action of balancing selection to maintain social polymorphism in these species. Moreover, positive selection is implicated in driving the molecular evolution of Gp-9 in association with the origin of polygyny. The identity of the product of Gp-9 as an odorant-binding protein suggests plausible scenarios for its direct involvement in the regulation of queen number via a role in chemical communication. While these and other lines of evidence show that Gp-9 represents a legitimate candidate gene of major effect, studies aimed at determining (i) the biochemical pathways in which GP-9 functions; (ii) the phenotypic effects of molecular variation at Gp-9 and other pathway genes; and (iii) the potential involvement of genes in linkage disequilibrium with Gp-9 are needed to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying social organization in fire ants. Information that reveals the links between molecular variation, individual phenotype, and colony-level behaviors, combined with behavioral models that incorporate details of the chemical communication involved in regulating queen number, will yield a novel integrated view of the
Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.
Northern bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus (L.) (Galliformes: Odontophoridae), population declines are well documented, but pinpointing the reasons for these decreases has proven elusive. Bobwhite population declines are attributed primarily to loss of habitat and land use changes. This, however, does not entirely explain population declines in areas intensively managed for bobwhites. Although previous research demonstrates the negative impact of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on northern bobwhites, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unknown. To meet the protein demands of early growth and development, bobwhite chicks predominantly consume small insects, of which ants are a substantial proportion. Fire ants alter ant community dynamics by often reducing native ant diversity and abundance while concurrently increasing the abundance of individuals. Fire ants have negative effects on chicks, but they are also a large potential protein source, making it difficult to disentangle their net effect on bobwhite chicks. To help investigate these effects, we conducted a laboratory experiment to understand (1) whether or not bobwhites consume fire ants, and (2) how the benefits of this consumption compare to the deleterious impacts of bobwhite chick exposure to fire ants. Sixty bobwhite chicks were separated into two groups of 30; one group was provided with starter feed only and the second group was provided with feed and fire ants. Bobwhite chicks were observed feeding on fire ants. Chicks that fed on fire ants had reduced survival and weight gain. Our results show that, while fire ants increase potential food sources for northern bobwhite, their net effect on bobwhite chicks is deleterious. This information will help inform land managers and commercial bobwhite rearing operations.
Hu, Wei; Zhang, Ning; Chen, Hongli; Zhong, Balian; Yang, Aixue; Kuang, Fan; Ouyang, Zhigang; Chun, Jiong
Sweet orange oil fractions were prepared by molecular distillation of cold-pressed orange oil from sample A (Citrus sinensis (L.) 'Hamlin' from America) and sample B (Citrus sinensis Osbeck 'Newhall' from China) respectively, and their fumigant activities against medium workers of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) were investigated. The volatile composition of the orange oil fractions was identified and quantified using GC-MS. Fractions from sample A (A1, A2, and A3) contained 23, 37, and 48 chemical constituents, and fractions from sample B (B1, B2, and B3) contained 18, 29, and 26 chemical constituents, respectively. Monoterpenes were the most abundant components, accounting for 73.56% to 94.86% of total orange oil fractions, among which D-limonene (65.28-80.18%), β-pinene (1.71-5.58%), 3-carene (0.41-4.01%), β-phellandrene (0.58-2.10%), and linalool (0.31-2.20%) were major constituents. Fumigant bioassay indicated that all orange oil fractions exerted good fumigant toxicity against workers of fire ants at 3, 5, 10, and 20 mg/centrifuge tubes, and B1 had the strongest insecticidal potential, followed by A1, B2, A2, B3, and A3. The fractions composed of more high volatile molecules (A1 and B1) showed greater fumigant effects than others. Compounds linalool and D-limonene, which were the constituents of the orange oil, exhibited excellent fumigant toxicity against red imported fire ant workers. Linalool killed red imported fire ant workers completely at 5, 10, and 20 mg/tube after 8 h of treatment, and D-limonene induced >86% mortality at 8 h of exposure. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Bill D Wills
Full Text Available Resource availability can determine an organism's investment strategies for growth and reproduction. When nutrients are limited, there are potential tradeoffs between investing into offspring number versus individual offspring size. In social insects, colony investment in offspring size and number may shift in response to colony needs and the availability of food resources. We experimentally manipulated the diet of a polymorphic ant species (Solenopsis invicta to test how access to the carbohydrate and amino acid components of nectar resources affect colony investment in worker number, body size, size distributions, and individual percent fat mass. We reared field-collected colonies on one of four macronutrient treatment supplements: water, amino acids, carbohydrates, and amino acid and carbohydrates. Having access to carbohydrates nearly doubled colony biomass after 60 days. This increase in biomass resulted from an increase in worker number and mean worker size. Access to carbohydrates also altered worker body size distributions. Finally, we found a negative relationship between worker number and size, suggesting a tradeoff in colony investment strategies. This tradeoff was more pronounced for colonies without access to carbohydrate resources. The monopolization of plant-based resources has been implicated in the ecological success of ants. Our results shed light on a possible mechanism for this success, and also have implications for the success of introduced species. In addition to increases in colony size, our results suggest that having access to plant-based carbohydrates can also result in larger workers that may have better individual fighting ability, and that can withstand greater temperature fluctuations and periods of food deprivation.
Tschinkel, Walter R; King, Joshua R
Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is described. An automobile heater fan powered from a 12-v battery provided a draft. Dual bilge pumps pumped water from a large tank through a long coil of copper tubing within the kiln to produce 4 to 5 l. of hot water per min. The hot water was collected in 20 l. buckets and poured into fire ant nests previously opened by piercing with a stick. The entire assembly was transported in and operated from the back of a pickup truck. Five experimental plots containing 32 to 38 colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were treated with hot water over a period of two years. All colonies on the treatment plots were treated twice with hot water early in 2004, reducing their numbers to zero. However new colonies were formed, and mature colonies expanded into the plots. A third treatment was made in the spring of 2005, after which fire ant populations were suppressed for over a year. Whereas the 5 control plots contained a total of 166 mostly large colonies, the 5 treatment plots contained no live colonies at all. Averaged over a two-year period, a 70% reduction in total number of colonies was achieved (P ants.
JAMES L. BOONE, DANNY L. RAKESTRAW, AND KURT R. RAUTENSTRAUCH
GOPHERLTS AGAISSIZII (Desert Tortoise). Predation. A variety of predators, most notably coyotes (Canis Iatrans) and Common Ravens (Corvis corau) have been reported to prey on hatchling desert tortoises (Emst et al. 1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 578 pp.). Here, we report an observation of a hatchling tortoise, fitted with a radiotransmitter, that was preyed upon by native fire ants (Solenopsis sp.) in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (36 degrees 50 minutes N, 116 degree 25 minutes E). On 8/27/94, tortoise No.9315 (carapace length = 45 mm, age = 5 d) was found alive with eyes, chin, and parts of the head and legs being eaten by ants. The tortoise was alive, but lethargic, and responded little when touched. Eight of 74 other radiomarked hatchlings monitored at Yucca Mountain during 1992-1994 were found dead with fire ants on their carcass 3-7 days after the hatchlings emerged from their nests. It is not known whether those tortoises were killed by ants or were being scavenged when found. While imported fire ants (S. invicta) have long been known to kill hatchling gopher tortoises (G. polyphemus; Mount 1981. J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 52: 71-78), native fire ants have previously not been implicated as predators of desert tortoises. However, only 1 of 75 (or at worst 9 of 75) was killed by fire ants, suggesting that although fire ants do kill hatchlings, they were not important predators on desert tortoises during this study. Tortoise specimens were deposited at the University of California at Berkeley
Full Text Available Neuropeptides are the largest group of insect hormones. They are produced in the central and peripheral nervous systems and affect insect development, reproduction, feeding and behavior. A variety of neuropeptide families have been identified in insects. One of these families is the PBAN/pyrokinin family defined by a common FXPRLamide or similar amino acid fragment at the C-terminal end. These peptides, found in all insects studied thus far, have been conserved throughout evolution. The most well studied physiological function is regulation of moth sex pheromone biosynthesis through the Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neurohormone (PBAN, although several developmental functions have also been reported. Over the past years we have extended knowledge of the PBAN/pyrokinin family of peptides to ants, focusing mainly on the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The fire ant is one of the most studied social insects and over the last 60 years a great deal has been learned about many aspects of this ant, including the behaviors and chemistry of pheromone communication. However, virtually nothing is known about the regulation of these pheromone systems. Recently, we demonstrated the presence of PBAN/pyrokinin immunoreactive neurons in the fire ant, and identified and characterized PBAN and additional neuropeptides. We have mapped the fire ant PBAN gene structure and determined the tissue expression level in the central nervous system of the ant. We review here our research to date on the molecular structure and diversity of ant PBAN/pyrokinin peptides in preparation for determining the function of the neuropeptides in ants and other social insects.
Full Text Available Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as “veredas”, represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted “veredas”. Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.
Costa-Milanez, C B; Lourenço-Silva, G; Castro, P T A; Majer, J D; Ribeiro, S P
Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as "veredas", represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation) and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season) using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted "veredas". Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.
Spagna Joseph C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may
Tillman, Glynn; Schomberg, Harry; Phatak, Sharad; Mullinix, Benjamin; Lachnicht, Sharon; Timper, Patricia; Olson, Dawn
In fall 2000, an on-farm sustainable agricultural research project was established for cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in Tift County, Georgia. The objective of our 2-yr research project was to determine the impact of several cover crops on pest and predator insects in cotton. The five cover crop treatments included 1) cereal rye, Secale cereale L., a standard grass cover crop; 2) crimson clover, Trifolium incarnatum L., a standard legume cover crop; 3) a legume mixture of balansa clover, Trifolium michelianum Savi; crimson clover; and hairy vetch, Vicia villosa Roth; 4) a legume mixture + rye combination; and 5) no cover crop in conventionally tilled fields. Three main groups or species of pests were collected in cover crops and cotton: 1) the heliothines Heliothis virescens (F.) and Helicoverpa zea (Boddie); 2) the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois); and 3) stink bugs. The main stink bugs collected were the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.); the brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say); and the green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare (Say). Cotton aphids, Aphis gossypii Glover, were collected only on cotton. For both years of the study, the heliothines were the only pests that exceeded their economic threshold in cotton, and the number of times this threshold was exceeded in cotton was higher in control cotton than in crimson clover and rye cotton. Heliothine predators and aphidophagous lady beetles occurred in cover crops and cotton during both years of the experiment. Geocoris punctipes (Say), Orius insidiosus (Say), and red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren were relatively the most abundant heliothine predators observed. Lady beetles included the convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville; the sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata L.; spotted lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer); and the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas). Density of G. punctipes was