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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rearing the Decapitating Fly Pseudacteon Tricuspis (Diptera: Phoridae) in Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis) from the United States

Authors
item Porter, Sanford
item Williams, David
item Patterson, Richard - UNIV. OF FLORIDA

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: We imported the South American phorid fly Pseudacteon tricuspis into quarantine facilities in Gainesville, FL to evaluate its suitability as a biocontrol agent of imported fire ants in the United States. We found that this fly developed successfully on Solenopsis invicta workers from Florida and hybrid fire ants from Mississippi. As expected, this fly had the peculiar habit of decapitating its living host and using the empty head capsule as a pupal case. We were able to rear this fly through one complete generation in the laboratory, indicating that mass rearing for inoculative releases in the United States may eventually be possible.

Technical Abstract: The South American phorid fly Pseudacteon tricuspis was imported into quarantine facilities in Gainesville, FL to study its life history and determine if it could be reared on imported fire ant workers from North America. We found that this fly developed successfully on Solenopsis invicta workers from Florida and hybrid Solenopsis richteri X S. invicta fire ants from Mississippi. It was also reared on S. richteri and S. invicta fire ants from Argentina. This fly, like its congener Pseudacteon litoralis, had the peculiar habit of decapitating its living host and then using the ant's empty head capsule as its pupal case. We were able to rear this fly through one complete generation in the laboratory, indicating that mass rearing for inoculative releases in the United States may be possible.

Last Modified: 10/26/2014
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