Protozoan and Fungal Diseases in Solenopsis richteri and S. quinquecuspis (Hymenoptera: formicidae) in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina


  • J. Briano
  • D. Jouvenaz
  • D. Wojcik
  • H. Cordo
  • R. Patterson


The diversity and abundance of protozoa and fungi infecting colonies of the fire ants Solenopsis richteri Forel and S. quinquecuspis Forel were surveyed in Buenos Aires province, Argentina. A total of 185 roadside sites was selected, and 1,836 colonies were sampled and examined under phase-contrast microscopy. Pathogens were found at 32% of the sites and in 10% of the colonies. The microsporidium Thelohania solenopsae Knell, Allen & Hazard was the most common microorganism; it was present at 25% of the sites and 8% of the colonies. In some sites within the surveyed region, the percentage of infected colonies with T. solenopsae ranged from 40 to 80%. Other pathogens present were the microsporidium Vairimorpha invictae Jouvenaz & Ellis and the fungus Myrmecomyces annellisae Jouvenaz & Kimbrough. A field site was selected for future ecological studies.






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