Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2006
Publication Date: December 18, 2007
Citation: Burns, S.N., Vander Meer, R.K., Teal, P.E. 2007. Juvenile hormone III concentrations in female reproductives of Solenopsis invicta Buren. Journal of Entomological Science.42(2):306-309. Interpretive Summary: The fire ant is a multi-billion dollar problem in the United States, affecting the general public, wildlife, and agriculture. Fire ant female sexuals undergo dramatic physiological and biochemical changes after mating that drive the social structure of the developing colony. Increasing our understanding of these processes is important in designing novel biologically-based population suppression methods. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA, ARS, Gainesville, Florida and the University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department, Gainesville, Florida only found Juvenile Hormone III (JH III) in hemolymph (blood) samples from unmated and mated fire ant female sexuals. The level of JH III found in mated female sexuals was twice that of unmated female sexuals demonstrating that elevated JH levels are associated with reproductive activity. This information adds to our knowledge of the biochemical changes that occur after fire ant female sexuals mate and found colonies.
Technical Abstract: Juvenile hormone (JH) III was identified and quantified from extracts of hemolymph from virgin and inseminated female sexuals of the red imported fire ant using gas chromatography-chemical ionization-mass spectroscopy (GC-CI-MS). Mated queens from established colonies had significantly higher amounts of JH III than alates. These results demonstrate that elevated JH titers are associated with reproductive activity in functional fire ant queens.