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applestar
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Biological Control of Fire Ants

I came across these when I was randomly looking around for information about fire ants.

Decapitating (or phorid) flies


Fire ant control may clash with honey bee preservation | Management content from Western Farm Press
https://westernfarmpress.com/management/ ... eservation

“The main phorid fly species, including Pseudacteon tricuspis and P. curvatis, that parasitize the fire ant are not the same species or even in the same genus as that reportedly parasitizing the bees, though their life cycle appears similar.”

An online report at Physorg.com, a science, research and technology news website, notes that Apocephalus borealis, a phorid fly native to North America, that is known to parasitize bumblebees and paper wasps, also attacks the non-native honeybee causing them to abandon their hives at night.

“Hone ybees are in serious decline for no specific reason that has yet been found.” Nester said. “Anything that hurts the honeybee also has the potential for damaging our food supply since these wonderful insects are our main crop pollinators.

“It’s easy to see how one could jump to conclusions when the common name of ‘phorid fly’ comes up even though the two parasitic insect species in question are not closely related.”

Nester said Texas A&M University’s fire ant work utilizes Pseudacteon phorid flies from South America.

“Field and lab experiences over the past 15 years have demonstrated these phorid fly species to be highly specific to red imported fire ants and not honey bees or other beneficial insects.”

For more information on phorid fly research on red imported fire ants, go to: https://www.extension.org/pages/30546/na ... -fire-ants.
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applestar
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Re: Biological Control of Fire Ants

I still like the "elegance" of the fungus. I wonder if there has been progress with that research?




I really think this could be effective and easier to distribute/apply as spores though my cynicism makes me wonder if the treatment would be TOO effective to be "marketable" :? ...I have found dead fungus-infected flies clinging to the top of plant stems in my garden -- seeing a lot of them recently so maybe this is when the final stage occurs more often, though I remember seeing a good bit back in early summer, too.
Fungus-killed flies: Insects : University of Minnesota Extension

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/ins ... led-flies/


Although they appear to be eating or sucking the leaves or needles, these flies are actually dead, killed by a fungal disease.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Biological Control of Fire Ants

I prefer the liquid aluminum solution. There is a person that pours molten aluminum down fire ant colony entrances then digs up the aluminum after it cools then cleans it and sells it as art.

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