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The larva of Stethorus caseyi Gordon & Chapin is described. This species was collected at several sites on the Texas High Plains, where it was found feeding upon colonies of tetranychid spider mites on corn, Zea mays L. The mature (fouth instar) larva is described and illustrated. A diagnosis is provided, separating the larva of S. caseyi from that of the two other Stethorus species (Stethorus nigripes Kapur and Stethorus histrio Chazeau) collected in the same geographical and ecological area. A discussion of the geographic range of S. caseyi is presented, especially in comparison with the two other introduced species with which it is sympatric in West Texas.
The range of temperatures of red imported fire ant, Solenpsis invicta Buren, foraging and food bait removal were examined in laboratory assays for six ant colonies collected from central Texas. Ants were observed crawling from laboratory colonies through clear plastic tubes traversing through a temperature controlled water bath in order to access and remove peanut butter bait. The minimum and maximum critical temperature range for these foraging S. invicta worker ants was 10 and 50°C, respecitvely. The results suggest that exclusion of ant activity can be attained using temperatures outside of this range. Maximum foraging and bait removal in these assays indicate that optimum temperatures for fire ant bait application are between 25° and 35°C. Using video recordings, crawling speed was found to vary for individual ants between the temperature extremes of 10° and 49°C, ranging from 0.21-cm/sec at 10°C to 3.46-cm/sec at 48°C. There was a significant linear relationship between speed and temperature (r2 = 0.71), where Speed = −0.19 0.06 × Temperature.
A leaf beetle, Diorhabda elongata elongata (Brullé), from Crete, Greece, was released unrestricted at two field locations (Lake Thomas and Beals Creek) within the upper Colorado River watershed of Texas between the summers of 2003 and 2004 as part of a Tamarix biological control program. D. elongata elongata released at the Lake Thomas site in August 2003 successfully overwintered and was recovered in the spring 2004; however, beetles were not recovered at Lake Thomas past June 2004 despite additional releases in July 2004. Following releases in April and July 2004 at Beals Creek, D. elongata elongata did establish and was subsequently recovered during 2005 and 2006. In August 2006, the D. elongata elongata population was dispersed throughout an area of approximately 12 hectares, beetles or larvae were present on 100% of the 47 trees surveyed and 57% of which (27 trees) were at least 90% defoliated by D. elongata elongata.