Florida Entomologist (1998) 81, 423-429

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Sanford D. Porter (1998)
Host-specific attraction of Pseudacteon flies (Diptera : Phoridae) to fire ant colonies in Brazil
Florida Entomologist 81 (3), 423-429
Abstract: Pseudacteon fly host-specificity tests were conducted in the field in southeastern Brazil with Solenopsis fire ants in the saevissima and geminata complexes. These parasitic flies showed a strong preference for fire ants in the saevissima complex. No Pseudacteon flies were attracted to three Solenopsis geminata (F.) colonies when they were set out in trays, but many flies were quickly attracted to three trays with saevissima complex colonies when they were set out between the S. geminata colonies. Even when both species of ants were placed together side by side, more than 99% of flies hovered over trays with saevissima complex ants. When all of the saevissima colonies were removed, leaving only the S. geminata colonies available, about 95% of flies flew away. Several flies, however, did transfer to the S. geminata colonies for a few minutes and at least one fly (P. wasmanni) attacked a few S. geminata workers. Altogether, 588 parasitized workers were collected from the saevissima complex colonies compared to 12 from the S. geminata colonies. Two hundred-sixty-two flies emerged from the saevissima complex colonies (52% Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier, 39% Pseudacteon litoralis Borgmeier, 4.6% Pseudacteon wasmanni Schmitz, 2.7% Pseudacteon pradei Borgmeier, 0.4% Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier). No adult flies emerged from the S. geminata colonies. These results demonstrate that P. tricuspis and P. litoralis are highly specific to saevissima complex fire ants and strongly indicate that they would pose little threat to native fire ants should they be released as biocontrol agents for imported fire ants in the United States.

Testes de especificidade de moscas do genero Pseudacteon a formigas hospedeiras foram conduzidos em condições de campo no sudeste do Brasil. Foram utilizadas formigas do genero Solenopsis, denominadas lava-pé, pertencentes aos complexos saevissima e geminata. Estas moscas parásitas apresentaram uma forte preferencia pelas formigas do complexo saevissima. Nenhuma das moscas foram atraídas pelas tres colonias de Solenopsis geminata (F.), quando depositadas em bandejas, entretanto, as mesmas foram rápidamente atraídas à tres bandejas contendo o complexo saevissima quando elas foram colocadas entre colonias de S. geminata. Mesmo quando ambas as especies de Solenopsis foram colocadas juntas, lado a lado, mais de 99% das moscas sobrevoaram a bandejas contendo o complexo de formigas saevissima. Após todas a colonias de saevissima terem sido removidas, permanecendo apenas colonias de S. geminata, cerca de 96% das moscas voaram, abandonando as bandejas. Várias moscas, entretanto, entraram em contato com colonias de S. geminata por alguns minutos e pelo menos uma mosca da especie Pseudacteon wasmanni Schmitz atacou algumas operarias de S. geminata. No total, 588 operarias parasitades foram coletadas no complexo de colonias de saevissima, comparado com 12 de colonias de S. geminata. Duzentos e sesenta e duas moscas emergiram de colonias do complexo saevissima (52% Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier, 39% Pseudacteon litoralis Borgmeier, 4,6% P. wasmanni, 2,7% Pseudacteon pradei Borgmeier, 0,4% Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier). Nenhuma mosca adulta emergiu de colonias de S. geminata. Estes resultados demonstram que P. tricuspis e P. litoralis são altamente sepecíficas ao complexo de formigas lava-pé no complexo saevissima. Estes resultados sugerem que estas moscas parásitas apresentam pouca ameaça a formigas lava-pé nativas, se estas forem introducidas como agentes biocontroladores nos Estados Unidos.
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Database assignments for author(s): Sanford D. Porter

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
non-target effects/fate in environm.


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Solenopsis invicta Brazil (south)
Pseudacteon litoralis (parasitoid) Brazil (south)
Pseudacteon tricuspis (parasitoid) Brazil (south)
Pseudacteon wasmanni (parasitoid) Brazil (south)
Pseudacteon curvatus (parasitoid) Brazil (south)
Pseudacteon pradei (parasitoid) Brazil (south)