Host Specificity of Several Pseudacteon (Diptera: Phoridae) Parasites of Fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in South America
AbstractWe tested the host specificity of several parasitic Pseudacteon scuttle flies in South America with 23 species of ants in 13 genera. None of these ant species attracted Pseudacteon parasites except Solenopsis saevissima (F. Smith) and to a lesser extent Solenopsis geminata (Fab.). This result is encouraging because it indicates that the Pseudacteon flies tested in this study would not pose an ecological danger to other ant genera if these flies were introduced into the United States as classical biological control agents of imported fire ants. This prediction of host specificity will, of course, need to be validated with potential hosts in the United States before these flies can be released.
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