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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #147604


item Vogt, James

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2004
Publication Date: 12/1/2004
Citation: Vogt, J.T. Detection of Imported Fire Ant Mounds with Satellite Imagery. Environmental Entomology. 33:1718-17201. 2004.

Interpretive Summary: Detecting and sampling imported fire ant mounds on the ground is costly, time consuming, and expensive. Large scale, area-wide management programs for suppressing imported fire ants require suitable sampling techniques for determining fire ant abundance over large areas. Satellite imagery (2 ft. resolution) was tested as a detection tool for fire ant mounds. Detection ranged from 20% for the smallest fire ant mounds to > 70% for large fire ant mounds. Spaceborne imagery proved to be a suitable tool for detecting a significant percentage of mounds, and could be a powerful tool for guiding researchers on the ground to suspected fire ant infestations for more detailed sampling. The results of this study are important to researchers engaged in area wide management programs for imported fire ants, and regulatory agencies responsible for detecting and mapping fire ant infestations.

Technical Abstract: Satellite imagery (0.6 m resolution, panchromatic) was tested as a detection tool for imported fire ant mounds in northeast Mississippi pasture. Analysis of images with and without actual mound locations overlaid resulted in detection of 57.2 ± 1.4 and 46.9 ± 1.2 % of mounds, respectively. Mound size and mound height both had a significant effect on mound visibility. More than 70% of mounds larger than 0.319 m2 in area were visible in the images. Possible uses for satellite imagery in fire ant mound detection are discussed.