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Old 12-01-2016, 04:58 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
Here's a story from 2012 about it.
Good link, with an interesting bit I never knew about Phoridae flies, which resemble fruit flies, that were intentionally introduced to fight the fire ants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki
Phorid flies also represent a new and hopeful means by which to control fire ant populations in the southern United States, where fire ants were accidentally introduced in the 1930s. The genus Pseudacteon, or ant-decapitating fly, of which 110 species have been documented, is a parasitoid of the ant in South America. Pseudacteon species reproduce by laying eggs in the thorax of the ant. The first instar larvae migrate to the head. The larvae develop by feeding on the hemolymph, muscle tissue, and nervous tissue in the head. Eventually, the larvae completely devour the ant's brain, causing it to do nothing but wander aimlessly for about two weeks.[10] After about two[11] to four[10] weeks, they cause the ant's head to fall off by releasing an enzyme that dissolves the membrane attaching the ant's head to its body. The fly pupates in the detached head capsule, requiring a further two weeks before emerging. Various species of Phoridae have been introduced throughout the southeast United States, starting with Travis, Brazos, and Dallas Counties in Texas, as well as Mobile, Alabama, where the ants first entered North America.
[BOLDING MINE] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorid...l_of_fire_ants

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicsage View Post
Much fewer fire ants in South Florida where I've lived for 50 years. Less mosquitoes too. Less honeybees. Less flees, less ticks. Maybe its just that so much more land is paved and urbanized, but come to think of it, I'm not even seeing dragonflies over my pool anymore. They were common a few years ago. And the wasp nests I battled for years around my house also seem gone.
I can backup this anecdotal evidence over a period of ~40 years. There sure are a lot of those things I used to think were just native fruit flies, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
So, maybe the solution to invasive stuff like the Argentine ants is to bring in more ants from the native range to introduce genetic variation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki
In January 2012, a researcher discovered larvae in the test tube of a dead honey bee believed to have been affected by colony collapse disorder.[12] The larvae had not been there the night before. The larvae were Apocephalus borealis, a parasitoid fly known to prey on bumblebees and wasps. The phorid fly lays eggs on the bee's abdomen, which hatch and feed on the bee. Infected bees act oddly, foraging at night and gathering around lights like moths. Eventually, the bee leaves the colony to die. The phorid fly larvae then emerge from the neck of the bee.
Whoops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Perhaps killed off by the insecticides used to fight Aedes aegypti.
That particular spraying is very recent and the phenomenon being discussed has been happening for some time, but there has always been regular insecticide spraying to control the general mosquito population, so who knows...