The good side of the bad guys: predation of lepidopteran pests by Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Florida Panhandle

  • Jessica M. Baldwin University of Florida, West Florida Research and Education Center, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Jay, Florida 32565, USA
  • Silvana Vieira de Paula Moraes University of Florida, West Florida Research and Education Center, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Jay, Florida 32565, USA
  • Roberto Pereira University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0620, USA

Abstract

Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an aggressive invasive species in many parts of the world, including the southeastern USA. The objectives of this study were to document S. invicta occurrence and predation potential of lepidopteran pests in peanut and cotton fields in the Florida Panhandle. The predation potential of S. invicta on Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was evaluated in experimental areas of peanut and cotton at the West Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, Jay, Florida, USA, during 2 crop seasons. Overall, we found a beneficial aspect of this invasive species in the agroecosystems of the Florida Panhandle.

Key Words: red imported fire ant; invasive species; agroecosystem; Helicoverpa zea; egg predation

Resumo

Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) e uma espécie invasora em muitos países, incluindo a região sudoeste dos Estados Unidos. O objetivo deste trabalho foi documentar a ocorrência de S. invicta e seu potencial de predação de ovos de Lepidoptera nas culturas do amendoim e algodão na região da Florida Panhandle. O potencial de predação de Helicoverpa zea por S. invicta foi avaliado em áreas experimentais, durante duas safras de amendoim e algodão na West Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, Jay, Florida, USA. A ocorrência de S. invicta foi maior na cultura de amendoim do que no algodão. A contribuição deste trabalho é documentar a função de inimigo natural de uma especie invasora na região de Florida Panhandle.

Palavras Chave: formiga lava-pé; species invasoras; agroecossistema; Helicoverpa zea; predação de ovos

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Published
2020-04-15
Section
Research Papers