Dietary habits of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, were investigated in four southern Oklahoma habitats: lakeshore, mixed grassland, wooded roadside, and unimproved pasture. Vegetation characteristics of each site were recorded for spring and late summer, in conjunction with estimates of forager success (the percentage of foragers returning to colonies with solid particles or liquid loads). Foragers collected a wide variety of solid particles, with different arthropod prey dominating samples within different sites. At the lakeshore site (no vegetation), dipteran adults, larvae, and pupae comprised >58% of foraged particles. Isoptera comprised >21% of foraged particles at the wooded roadsite site. At grassland and pasture sites, seeds (17.2 and 15.7%, respectively) were important foraged items. Forager success rates were highest for solids at the lakeshore site (≈30% and 16% in spring and late summer, respectively), and highest for liquids at the pasture site (≈30% and 22% for spring and late summer, respectively). Possible influence of vegetation on success rates, and implications for estimates of foraging energetics, are discussed.
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