Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 3, 2006
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Pereira, R., Porter, S.D. 2006. RANGE EXPANSION OF THE FIRE ANT DECAPITATING FLY, PSEUDACTEON TRICUSPIS, EIGHT TO NINE YEARS AFTER RELEASES IN FLORIDA. Florida Entomologist. 89: 536-538. Technical Abstract: The fire ant decapitating fly Pseudacteon tricuspis (Diptera: Phoridae) was released in 1997 and 1998 in and around Gainesville, FL, By the fall of 2001, the fly had expanded out 35-60 km occupying 8,100 km2. A survey was conducted in late 2005 and early 2006 to determine the current extent of the range. Flies were observed at approximately 145, 275, and 200 km, respectively in the SE, NE, and NW direction from the release sites, occupying an area of about 86,500 km2. The average expansion rate was estimated between 18 and 34 km/year, almost 15% faster than previous estimates. With these expansion rates, it is likely that almost all of the state of Florida will harbor resident populations of P. tricuspis in the next 3 to 5 years.