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1 February 2009 Behavior and Development of Pseudacteon curvatus (Diptera: Phoridae) Varies According to the Social Form of Its Host Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Its Native Range
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Abstract

We assessed the performance of Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier with respect to the social form of Solenopsis invicta Buren in Argentina. In the field, we studied the effect the parasitoid on size and proportion of ant foragers. In the laboratory, we evaluated P. curvatus oviposition preferences; host size elected; developmental periods; and sexual size dimorphism, sex ratio, and parasitoid survivorship. P. curvatus affected the average size of foraging workers on both social forms diminishing the proportion of big and increasing the proportion of minor workers. P. curvatus required a shorter orientation time and exhibited a greater number of attacks when ovipositing on monogynes workers. In the laboratory, host sizes elected by P. curvatus were similar between social forms. However, attacks on polygyne colonies were more variable, increasing the number of unviable offspring. Developmental times of females and males of P. curvatus were similar for both social forms, but total developmental periods were shorter for males from monogyne colonies. We did not find differences between sexes in emerging adults' size by social form and the female: male sex ratio was 1:1 for both social forms. P. curvatus pupae survival and adult emergence per trial from monogyne colonies were greater than from polygyne colonies. The rarity of polygyne S. invicta in its native range may prevent this phorid from adjusting its life history to that social form. Consequences of applying this phorid in biological control are discussed.

© 2009 Entomological Society of America
Mónica G. Chirino, Lawrence E. Gilbert, and Patricia J. Folgarait "Behavior and Development of Pseudacteon curvatus (Diptera: Phoridae) Varies According to the Social Form of Its Host Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Its Native Range," Environmental Entomology 38(1), 198-206, (1 February 2009). https://doi.org/10.1603/022.038.0125
Received: 18 April 2008; Accepted: 1 October 2008; Published: 1 February 2009
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