Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2004
Publication Date: 7/20/2004
Citation: Vogt, J.T., Reed, J.T., and Brown, R.L. Temporal foraging activity of selected ant species in northern Mississippi. Journal of Entomological Science. 39: 444-452. 2004.
Interpretive Summary: Baits used to control imported fire ants also kill native ants, which are thought to slow re-infestation by preying on imported fire ant queens. Researchers have examined foraging (food-gathering) activity of ants in northern Mississippi, and found that some native ants are very active in mid-afternoon when hot weather slows fire ant foraging, but are not active after dark, when fire ants forage heavily. This information is being used to predict bait application times that will maximize fire ant kill while minimizing impact on native ants. The results of this study are of potential importance to State and Federal agencies charged with implementing IPM programs against imported fire ants.
Technical Abstract: A experiment was conducted in northeastern Mississippi to examine temporal foraging activity of imported fire ants and other common ant species that inhabit pasture and meadow areas. Baited vials were placed horizontally on the ground along straight-line transects (N = 21) every 3 h for 24 h periods during June-August. Vials remained on the ground for 30 min, then were quickly plugged with cotton and collected. Principal species captured in baited vials included Solenopsis richteri × invicta (hybrid imported fire ant) (90.6%), Solenopsis molesta (Say) (5.9%), Monomorium minumum (Buckley) (2.5%), Tapinoma sessile (Say) (0.7%), and Paratrechina vividula (Nylander) (0.3%). Imported fire ants foraged during all time periods, as did S. molesta and P. vividula. Tapinoma sessile and M. minimum slowed or ceased foraging at night. Forelius pruinosus (Roger) was captured on a single date while sampling at 1800 h. Implications for timing of bait applications against imported fire ants are discussed.