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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Graham, Fudd
item Vander Meer, Robert - Bob
item Ward, Ken
item Ward, Rufina
item Bertagnolli, Vicky

Submitted to: Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2005
Publication Date: 1/15/2006
Citation: Graham, F., Vander Meer, R.K., Ward, K., Ward, R., Bertagnolli, V.E. 2006. Distribution of Imported Fire Ant Populations in Alabama. 2005 Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings. 219-221. Gulfport, MS. March 22-24, 2005.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel, was the first imported fire ant identified in the United sTates (Loding, 1929) and was originally referred to as Solenopsis saevissima (Fr. Smith). Wilson (1951, 1953) indicated that the population consisted of a "dark phase" for the first ten years or so that corresponded to the southernmost geographic variant of the South American population. By 1957, Wilson and Brown reported a significant decline in the "dark phase" and an increase in the "light phase" in almost every locality except Lowndes and Noxubee Co. in Mississippi. In 1972, Buren's revision of the S. saevissima complex renamed the "light phase" S. invicta and the "dark phase" S. richteri. Range maps by Buren et al. (1974) show S. richteri located in north central to norteastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama. More recent maps (Taber, 2000) show a similar range, but shifted somewhat further northa dn east, now extending to the Tennessee border. Vander Meer et al. (1985) first detected a hybrid between the two species in Mississippi. Diffie et al. (1988) reported the hybrid from 10 counties in western Georgia and 22 counties in north central Alabama in surveys in 1985-6. Prior to this survey, we found the hybrid in Talladega County. The purpose of this study is to determine the approximate location of each imported fire ant species in Alabama. This will allow us to release biological control agents on their prefered host.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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