Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2008
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Citation: Vogt, J.T., Rashid, T., Chen, J. 2008. New Distribution Record and Behavioral Observations for Psudacteon curvatus (DIPTERA: PHORIDAE), a Parasitoid of Solenopsis richteri, S. invicta, and Their Hybrid (HYMENTOPTERA: FORMICIDAE). Journal of Entomological Science. 43(4): 443-446.
Interpretive Summary: Chemical control of imported fire ants, while effective, is short-lived and expensive. In an effort to permanently reduce fire ant populations throughout their range in the U.S., parasitic phorids flies that kill fire ants and interfere with their activity have been released and established as classical biological control agents. Recent collections indicate that phorids flies have expanded their range into west-central Mississippi from initial releases in eastern Mississippi and northeast Louisiana. ARS researchers discovered that the flies are capable of severely limiting foraging activity of fire ants when attracted to crushed ants near foraging trails. This research demonstrates continued spread of phorids flies throughout fire ant-infested areas as well as important aspects of phorids behavior that may influence their effectiveness as biological control agents.
Technical Abstract: The little decapitating fly, Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier, has been successfully released in the U.S. for classical biological control of imported fire ants. Flies were recently collected in Bolivar County, Mississippi, approximately 85 km from the nearest previously known collection. Observations in the field indicated that P. curvatus is capable of severely limiting foraging activity of imported fire ants when attracted to active foraging trails by macerating ants to release semiochemicals; however, flies did not appear to be attracted to undisturbed foragers.