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1 May 2011 Sampling High-Altitude and Stratified Mating Flights of Red Imported Fire Ant
Gary N. Fritz, Ann H. Fritz, Robert K. Vander Meer
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Abstract

With the exception of an airplane equipped with nets, no method has been developed that successfully samples red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, sexuals in mating/dispersal flights throughout their potential altitudinal trajectories. We developed and tested a method for sampling queens and males during mating flights at altitudinal intervals reaching as high as ∼140 m. Our trapping system uses an electric winch and a 1.2-m spindle bolted to a swiveling platform. The winch dispenses up to 183 m of Kevlar-core, nylon rope and the spindle stores 10 panels (0.9 by 4.6 m each) of nylon tulle impregnated with Tangle-Trap. The panels can be attached to the rope at various intervals and hoisted into the air by using a 3-m-diameter, helium-filled balloon. Raising or lowering all 10 panels takes ∼15–20 min. This trap also should be useful for altitudinal sampling of other insects of medical importance.

© 2011 Entomological Society of America
Gary N. Fritz, Ann H. Fritz, and Robert K. Vander Meer "Sampling High-Altitude and Stratified Mating Flights of Red Imported Fire Ant," Journal of Medical Entomology 48(3), 508-512, (1 May 2011). https://doi.org/10.1603/ME10185
Received: 27 July 2010; Accepted: 1 January 2011; Published: 1 May 2011
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