Document Detail

Trail pheromone disruption of red imported fire ant.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20549330     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is considered one of the most aggressive and invasive species in the world. Toxic bait systems are used widely for control, but they also affect non-target ant species and cannot be used in sensitive ecosystems such as organic farms and national parks. The fire ant uses recruitment pheromones to organize the retrieval of large food resources back to the colony, with Z,E-alpha-farnesene responsible for the orientation of workers along trails. We prepared Z,E-alpha-farnesene, (91% purity) from extracted E,E-alpha-farnesene and demonstrated disruption of worker trail orientation after presentation of an oversupply of this compound from filter paper point sources (30 microg). Trails were established between queen-right colony cells and food sources in plastic tubs. Trail-following behavior was recorded by overhead webcam, and ants were digitized before and after presentation of the treatment, using two software approaches. The linear regression statistic, r(2) was calculated. Ants initially showed high linear trail integrity (r(2) = 0.75). Within seconds of presentation of the Z,E-alpha-farnesene treatment, the trailing ants showed little or no further evidence of trail following behavior in the vicinity of the pheromone source. These results show that trailing fire ants become disorientated in the presence of large amounts of Z,E-alpha-farnesene. Disrupting fire ant recruitment to resources may have a negative effect on colony size or other effects yet to be determined. This phenomenon was demonstrated recently for the Argentine ant, where trails were disrupted for two weeks by using their formulated trail pheromone, Z-9-hexadecenal. Further research is needed to establish the long term effects and control potential for trail disruption in S. invicta.
David M Suckling; Lloyd D Stringer; Barry Bunn; Ashraf M El-Sayed; Robert K Vander Meer
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-06-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of chemical ecology     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1573-1561     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Chem. Ecol.     Publication Date:  2010 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-02     Completed Date:  2010-10-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505563     Medline TA:  J Chem Ecol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  744-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd., PB 4704, Christchurch, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Ants / physiology*
Behavior, Animal*
Pheromones / physiology*
Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pheromones; 0/Sesquiterpenes; 502-61-4/alpha-farnesene

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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