Submitted to: Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2004
Publication Date: 7/30/2004
Citation: Thead, L.G., Streett, D.A. 2004. Confinement-tray color affects parasitism rates of attacking pseudacteon curvatus (diptera: phoridae) in a laboratory rearing system. Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings.
Interpretive Summary: Imported fire ants are serious pests that infest 300 million acres in the United States. The phorid flies or decapitating flies are biological control agents that only attack imported fire ants. These flies are currently being released in the United States to control imported fire ants. Modifications in the phorid fly rearing system resulted in parasitism increases by the flies. This potentially reduces the cost of phorid fly production, allowing releases of greater number of flies.
Technical Abstract: Distribution of the phorid fly (Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier), a natural parasitoid of imported fire ants, was tested in a laboratory rearing system for dependence on background color. Ants confined within a tray with background colors (olive drab, brown or ruddy brown) were parasitized at significantly higher rates than ants confined within a white background tray. This study highlights a factor that may be influencing production levels in a phorid rearing system.