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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Eclosion, Mating, and Grooming Behavior of the Parasitoid Fly Pseudacteon Curvatus (Diptera: Phoridae)

Authors
item Wuellner, Clare - UNIV OF TEXAS
item Porter, Sanford
item Gilbert, Lawrence - UNIV OF TEXAS

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 23, 2002
Publication Date: December 15, 2002
Citation: WUELLNER, C.T., PORTER, S.D., GILBERT, L.E. ECLOSION, MATING, AND GROOMING BEHAVIOR OF THE PARASITOID FLY PSEUDACTEON CURVATUS (DIPTERA: PHORIDAE). FLORIDA ENTOMOLOGIST. 2002. v. 85(4). p. 563-566.

Interpretive Summary: Decapitating flies from the genus Pseudacteon are parasites of imported fire ants in South America. Recent efforts of controlling imported fire ants in the United States have focused on rearing and releasing decapitating flies as self-sustaining fire ant biocontrol agents. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the USDA-ARS's Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL studied emergence, mating, and grooming behavior of the decapitating fly Pseudacteon curvatus in an effort to increase understanding of its biology. The sex ratio of emerging flies in the lab was one male for every female. The flies emerged only in the morning and males emerged first. Mating in the lab occurred on the ground and did not require disturbed ants. Males and probably also females mated multiply. Detailed information like this is often the key to successfully rearing and then releasing new biocontrol agents like these flies. In particular, it was very important for researchers to know that the flies needed sufficient time and space for mating in the early morning hours.

Technical Abstract: Phorid flies from the genus Pseudacteon are parasitoids of Solenopsis ants. Recent efforts of controlling imported fire ants in the United States have focused on rearing and releasing these flies as biocontrol agents. We studied eclosion, mating, and grooming behavior of Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier in an effort to increase understanding of its biology. The sex ratio of eclosing flies in the lab was 1:1. The flies emerged only in the morning and were protandrous. Mating in the lab occurred on the substrate and did not require disturbed ants. Males and probably also females mated multiply.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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