Tunneling Performance Increases at Lower Temperatures for Solenopsis invicta Buren but not for Nylanderia fulva MayrReport as inadecuate




Tunneling Performance Increases at Lower Temperatures for Solenopsis invicta Buren but not for Nylanderia fulva Mayr - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA





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Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler

Abstract Nylanderia fulva Mayr, the tawny crazy ant, is an invasive pest established in Florida and several other Gulf Coast states. In their invasive ranges in the Southeastern USA, large N. fulva populations have reduced species abundance, even displacing another invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. In North Florida, N. fulva populations survive winter temperatures that reach below freezing for extended periods. However, the shallow littoral debris used by N. fulva for nest construction offers little insulation to brood and reproductives when exposed to freezing temperatures. Field populations of N. fulva in North Florida were observed tunneling below ground, a previously undescribed behavior. Other invasive ants exhibit similar subterranean tunneling behavior as a means of thermoregulation. To test the hypothesis that N. fulva has the capacity to construct subterranean tunnels across a range of ecologically relevant temperatures, tunneling performance for N. fulva and S. invicta, another invasive ant that tunnels extensively, were compared at four temperatures 15.0, 18.0, 20.0, and 22.0 °C. Overall, N. fulva tunneled significantly less than S. invicta. Nylanderia fulva tunneled furthest at warmer temperatures whereas S. invicta tunneled furthest at cooler temperatures. However, N. fulva constructed subterranean tunnels at all temperatures evaluated. These data support the hypothesis that N. fulva is capable of tunneling in temperatures as low as 15.0 °C, confirming that this ant can also perform a behavior that is used by other ants for cold avoidance. View Full-Text

Keywords: Nylanderia fulva; Solenopsis invicta; tunneling; temperature; thermoregulation Nylanderia fulva; Solenopsis invicta; tunneling; temperature; thermoregulation





Author: Michael T. Bentley * , Faith M. Oi, Salvador A. Gezan and Daniel A. Hahn

Source: http://mdpi.com/



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