Although fire ants frequently have negative impacts on agricultural systems and public health, they have additional beneficial insecticidal effects. To evaluate the potential effect of fire ant venoms on agricultural pests, the compositions of the venoms and their insecticidal activities against Plutella xylostella (L.) larvae were evaluated under laboratory conditions. The alkaloids found in Solenopsis geminata (F.) venom are primarily saturated C11, which occur in both cis and trans forms, whereas the venom of S. invicta Buren contains six principal alkaloids (from trans C11 to C17). Moreover, the proportions of unsaturated alkaloids in the venom of polygynous S. invicta were significantly higher than the corresponding proportions in the monogynous S. invicta, as shown by our previous studies. Fire ant venoms were topically applied to the dorsal thoracic region of fourth-instar larvae of P. xylostella. The results of the experiment showed that the larval symptoms induced by fire ant venom include contractile, flaccid paralysis, black coloration and death. P. xyhstella larvae were most susceptible to S. geminata venom. The order of the susceptibilities of the larvae to the venoms was as follows: S. geminata > S. invicta (monogyne form) > S. invicta (polygyne form), as measured by the corresponding LT50 values at 24 h.
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Vol. 105 • No. 5