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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329173

Research Project: Invasive Ant Biology and Control

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research

Title: Scavenging crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) transmit Solenopsis invicta virus 3 to red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) colonies

Author
item Porter, Sanford
item Valles, Steven
item Pereira, Roberto - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2016
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Citation: Porter, S.D., Valles, S.M., Pereira, R.M. 2016. Scavenging crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) transmit Solenopsis invicta virus 3 to red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) colonies. Florida Entomologist. 99(4):811-812.

Interpretive Summary: The SINV-3 fire ant virus may have value as a self-sustaining biocontrol agent in parts of the United States because it is both highly pathogenic and host-specific to red imported fire ants. In order to better understand how this virus is transmitted among imported fire ant colonies, researchers from the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida and the University of Florida's Department of Entomology and Nematology conducted feeding tests with house crickets which had eaten infected imported fire ants. This study demonstrated that the SINV-3 virus can be mechanically transferred among fire ant colonies by scavengers like the domestic cricket, which readily eat dead infected fire ant workers without becoming infected themselves. These results are important because they demonstrate that SINV-3 can easily be transferred among fire ant colonies by common arthropod scavengers without the need of specialized vectors.

Technical Abstract: -