Ecological Entomology (1999) 24, 163-173

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P.J. Folgarait and L.E. Gilbert (1999)
Phorid parasitoids affect foraging activity of Solenopsis richteri under different availability of food in Argentina
Ecological Entomology 24 (2), 163-173
Abstract: 1. In Argentina, six species of Pseudacteon parasitoids (Phoridae) attack Solenopsis richteri, one of the two species of South American fire ant that are exotic pests in North America.
2. The presence of these Pseudacteon species significantly reduces the number of ants at food resources in the field, as well as foraging activity generally.
3. Some Pseudacteon not only attack ants walking on trails or at feeding sites, but also at mound entrances, inhibiting workers from leaving to forage.
4. The average size of foraging ants (which prescribes their suitability as hosts) decreased in the presence of phorids.
5. The number of attacking phorids was correlated positively with the number of ants walking towards the food on the trail before the attack.
6. Solenopsis richteri workers responded to manipulations of food size and presence or absence of parasitoids in a risk-adjusting way, i.e. although more foragers were recruited to larger food items, attacking phorids reduced ant foraging activity by the same factor regardless of the size of the food offered.
7. The data suggest that S. richteri colonies juggle the needs to harvest food efficiently, reduce competition, and avoid excess risks from parasitoids in complex ways.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Patricia J. Folgarait, Lawrence E. Gilbert

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Solenopsis richteri Argentina
Pseudacteon (genus - parasitoids) Solenopsis richteri Argentina