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1 August 2007 Associations of Fire Ant Phorids and Microhabitats
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We examined flight activity patterns for a guild of fire ant parasitoids in western Argentina in relationship to their host’s location (mound/foraging trail) and light condition (full sun/partial sun/full shade) at different scales, from the individually sampled mound to the full day’s summation for each species. We asked first whether taxa showed preferences among these conditions, and second, whether certain species and sexes might be found together more frequently than expected to by chance. All species, except the P. obtusus species complex, were significantly more likely to be found attacking ants at disturbed mounds than at paired foraging trails. The P. nocens complex and P. litoralis were more likely to be in the shade when temperatures were above the overall mean of the study (28.3°C), whereas others, such as the P. obtusus complex and P. tricuspis, were more likely to be in full sun under these same conditions. Our analyses indicated that a limited set of species, particularly P. nocens with P. litoralis, and males with female P. obtusus and P. tricuspis, were more likely to be found together than expected. We also found decreasing proportions of males with increasing time of analysis. We discuss the implications of host location, metereological conditions, and sex ratios in relationship to ongoing classical biological control efforts using species of these phorids.

Patricia J. Folgarait, Richard J. W. Patrock, and Lawrence E. Gilbert "Associations of Fire Ant Phorids and Microhabitats," Environmental Entomology 36(4), 731-742, (1 August 2007).[731:AOFAPA]2.0.CO;2
Received: 18 August 2006; Accepted: 2 March 2007; Published: 1 August 2007

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