Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling Red Imported Fire Ants Two Ways

Date:
August 21, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Two separate strategies for reducing the spread of red imported fire ants (RIFA) are being combined by scientists as part of a strategy that could potentially add to the arsenal against this spreading pest.

RS researchers are trying to make the phorid fly an even more effective biocontrol of fire ants by using the fly to spread microsporidia, a pathogen that damages fire ant colonies.
Credit: Image courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service

Two separate strategies for reducing the spread of red imported fire ants (RIFA) are being combined by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists as part of a strategy that could potentially add to the arsenal against this spreading pest.

Currently, parasitic phorid flies are used in the United States to help control some fire ant populations. In Argentina, pathogens like Kneallhazia solenopsae and Vairimorpha invictae—alone or in combination—are associated with localized declines of 53 to 100 percent in fire ant populations, according to entomologist David Oi, at the ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in Gainesville, Fla.

Now, ARS scientists are looking to add a new scientific wrinkle: using the phorid fly as a vector for infecting the fire ant population with microsporidia.

Each phorid fly lays an egg into individual fire ants. These eggs later develop within the fire ant's head, ultimately causing its demise. But researchers tested a new method—infecting the phorid flies with a pathogenic microsporidia that controls fire ants.

Preliminary data showed that K. solenopsae was successfully transmitted to phorid flies without harming them. The next step is to determine whether infected flies are able to infect RIFA with the microsporidia, providing another mechanism for transmission between RIFA colonies.

According to Oi, K. solenopsae not only reduces fire ant colony size, it also reduces successful colony founding by reproducing ants, affects the survival of queens and increases the death rate of colonies.

Oi conducted this research with entomologists Sanford Porter and Steven Valles at CMAVE, and with Juan Briano and Luis Calcaterra of the ARS South American Biological Control Laboratory in Hurlingham, Argentina.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Controlling Red Imported Fire Ants Two Ways." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090719193246.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, August 21). Controlling Red Imported Fire Ants Two Ways. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090719193246.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Controlling Red Imported Fire Ants Two Ways." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090719193246.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins