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An Improved and Quantified Technique for Marking Individual Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Daniel P. Wojcik, Richard J. Burges, Chantal M. Blanton and Dana A. Focks
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 83, No. 1 (Mar., 2000), pp. 74-78
DOI: 10.2307/3496231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3496231
Page Count: 5
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An Improved and Quantified Technique for Marking Individual Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
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Abstract

Individual fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, were marked with dots of Markal brand Ball Point Paint Markers. Marked ants were returned to the colony while the paint was still wet. The marks were slowly lost over a 100-day period, with one mark lasting 119 days. No mortality could be attributed to the paint. The proportion of ants retaining marks over time can be expressed as a simple exponential decay model: proportion with marks = 0.7665 * exp (-0.0175 * time in days). The technique will be useful in assessing basic behavioral characteristics, such as polygyne versus monogyne interactions, nestmate discrimination, foraging profiles, and in assessing impact of candidate biological control organisms on behavior and survivorship of fire ants. /// Hormigas coloradas (fire ants) Solenopsis invicta Buren fueron marcadas con bolígrafos Markal® y devueltas a su colonia cuando la pintura aún estaba fresca. Las marcas desaparecieron lentamente en un período de 100 días (una marca duró 119 días). La pintura no causó la muerte a las hormigas. Se desarrolló un modelo exponencial simple para predecir la proporción de hormigas que retienen la marca de pintura al paso del tiempo. Esta técnica permitirá evaluar el comportamiento de las hormigas, por ejemplo, las interacciones políginas vs. monóginas, la discriminación dentro del nido y los hábitos alimenticios de esta especie. También será posible evaluar el impacto de organismos con potencial de control biológico en el comportamiento y supervivencia de estas hormigas.

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