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1 October 2014 Red Imported Fire Ant Alate Corpses Opportunistically Used as a Major Food Resource by a Scavenging Solitary Wasp (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae)
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Abstract

The nesting biology of the scavenger sand wasp, Microbembex monodonta Say, was studied over 2 years (2009 - 2010) in Pedernales Falls State Park, Blanco Co., TX and compared with previous studies. In 2009, nest cell depths averaged 3.4 cm deeper than in 2010, when there was 4 times more rainfall. A total of 177 prey items recovered from 15 excavated nests represented 8 insect orders and the Aranae (Arachnida). In both years, dead alates (nearly all gynes) of the invasive red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, comprised a majority of prey items (62%) and were found in every excavated nest, a most unusual finding. This relatively new and abundant food resource has potential for positively impacting population dynamics of this widespread wasp.

Veronica A. Lopez, Paloma L. Reinoso, Allan W. Hook, and Robert W. Matthews "Red Imported Fire Ant Alate Corpses Opportunistically Used as a Major Food Resource by a Scavenging Solitary Wasp (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae)," Journal of Entomological Science 49(4), (1 October 2014). https://doi.org/10.18474/0749-8004-49.4.337
Received: 28 January 2014; Accepted: 1 February 2014; Published: 1 October 2014
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