USDA-ARS-BCPRU, Stoneville, MS
Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL
Six fire ant mounds, located at the release site, were collected weekly for four weeks and transported to the phorid fly rearing facility at USDA-ARS, Mississippi State, MS for exposure to the flies. Colonies containing parasitized workers were returned weekly to their original mounds. The flies eat the tissue inside the ants' head causing it to eventually fall off. The adult fly emerges from where the ants' mouth parts used to be and continues the life cycle. Releases were made at the Natchez Trace Parkway site during June, 2003. The site will be sampled for establishment and spread of the flies. Impact on fire ant and native ant populations will be determined.
USDA Contact: AL A&M Contact:
J. T. Vogt Ken Ward
(The Phorid Fly Release Site is marked with the blue Arrow.)
Phorid flies as of 2004 occupied more than half a million acres in northeast Mississippi.
In 2006, P. curvatus dispersal expanded to over three million acres in Mississippi (See figure below). Flies have been captured as far west as Holcomb, MS and include the Woodland Plantation, one of the core sites in Grenada County.