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.

Related Articles


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 November 22, 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 November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Buzz60 (Nov. 20, 2014) Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer teamed up with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and others to investigate a predatory glow worm found in the Amazon. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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