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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Mono and Poly-Gyne Social Forms on Transmission and Spread of Microsporidia in Fire Ant Populations

item Oi, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2005
Publication Date: August 7, 2005
Citation: Oi, D.H. 2005. Effect of mono- and poly-gyne social forms on transmission and spread of microsporidia in fire ant populations. Proceedings in the 2005 Society for Invertebrate Pathology. 39. Anchorage, Alaska. August 7-11, 2005.

Technical Abstract: Thelohania solenopsae, a pathogen of red imported fire ants,>Solenopsis invicta, can be transmitted by introducing infected brood into a colony. The social form of the ant, that is, monogyny (single queen per colony) or polygyny (multiple queens per colony) are associated with different behaviors, such as territoriality, that affect the degree of intercolony brood transfer. T. solenopsae was found only in polygyne colonies (83%) in Florida. Non-synchronous infections of queens and transovarial transmission favor the persistence and probability of detecting infections in polygynous colonies. However, queens or alates with the monogyne genotype can be infected and infections in monogyne field colonies of S. invicta have been reported from Louisiana and Argentina. Alate queens with the monogyne genotype have a greater dispersal capability than polygyne alates and could potentially facilitate the spread of the pathogen. Demise of infected monogyne colonies can be twice as fast as in polygyne colonies and favors the pathogen’s persistence in polygyne fire ant populations. The social form of the fire ant reflects different physiological and behavioral aspects of the queen and colony that will impact T. solenopsae spread and ultimate usefulness for biological control.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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