Previous diet affects the amount but not the type of bait consumed by an invasive ant

Lach, Lori, Volp, Trevor M., and Wilder, Shawn M. (2019) Previous diet affects the amount but not the type of bait consumed by an invasive ant. Pest Management Science, 75 (10). pp. 2627-2633.

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BACKGROUND Recent research on multiple invasive ant species has revealed the importance of carbohydrates for achieving high activity levels and outcompeting native ants. However, comparatively little is known about the role of diet and macronutrient preferences for uptake of insecticidal baits used to control invasive ants. We tested whether diet affected yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes Fr Smith) survival and behavior, and whether bait preference would be complementary to past diet.

RESULTS We found that colonies fed only crickets for 28 days had fewer live workers and queens, and less brood per live queen than colonies fed crickets + honeydew but did not differ significantly from colonies fed only honeydew. Colonies that had been fed only crickets were more active (as assessed by interaction with a novel object), retrieved 16–17 times more bait per worker overall, and consumed more of the six bait types than cricket + honeydew and honeydew‐only fed colonies. However, prior diet did not affect bait choice. The two highest sugar bait formulations combined accounted for most of the bait consumed across all treatments (cricket‐only 74.8% ± 28.1; cricket + honeydew 69.2% ± 12.4; honeydew‐only 62.5% ± 30.4).

CONCLUSION Yellow crazy ant colonies fare better without protein than without carbohydrates. Yellow crazy ants ate the most bait when fed only crickets but did not choose baits complementary to their previous diet. Baits in a sugar‐rich carrier may be most effective for the control of yellow crazy ants, regardless of the relative availability of macronutrients.

Item ID: 59472
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1526-498X
Keywords: Anoplolepis gracilipes; bait uptake; control; honeydew; macronutrient preference
Copyright Information: © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry
Funders: James Cook University
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 00:34
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410202 Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310913 Invertebrate biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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