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A Survey for Pathogens of Fire Ants, Solenopsis spp., in the Southeastern United States
D. P. Jouvenaz, G. E. Allen, W. A. Banks and Daniel P. Wojcik
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 60, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 275-279
Published by: Florida Entomological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3493922
Page Count: 5
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In a survey conducted in the Southeastern United States, one colony in a sample of 1,007 colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was infected with a microsporidium (Protozoa: Microsporida). The normal host of this parasite appears to be the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata (F.). A benign or very mildly pathogenic yeast was associated with 93 (9.24%) of the S. invicta colonies, and was most common in areas which have been infested with this ant for the longest periods. No pathogens were associated with 83 colonies of the black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel. The apparent rarity of bona fide pathogens in imported fire ants in the United States is in marked contrast to the abundance of pathogens in these and other Solenopsis spp. in South America. Four species of microsporidia (possibly new genera) were detected in 22 (7.2%), 12 (3.9%), 6 (2.0%), and 4 (1.3%) of 307 colonies of the tropical fire ant, S. geminata. One colony of this species was infected by a neogregarine (Sporozoa: Neogregarinida). No pathogens were found in a small sample (53 colonies) of the Southern fire ant, Solenopsis xyloni McCook.
The Florida Entomologist © 1977 Florida Entomological Society