A survey for pathogens associated with the ants of West Texas (especially the Solenopsis spp.)
Beckham, Richard D.
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Representative samples of 113 different ant species from west Texas (west of the l00th Meridian) were examined for the occurrence of indigenous pathogens. Samples of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, taken from the south central and south eastern part of Texas were also examined for indigenous pathogens. This survey was conducted to lay the groundwork studying the possible suppression by pathogens of the red imported fire ant in its westward movement. Samples were taken at 404 locations throughout the study areas. In the examination of 2,525 samples for the presence of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, only an occasional occurrence of a pathogen was detected. It appears that the potential for using pathogens presently associated with ant species to inhibit the westward migration of the red imported fire ant is small and that alternate methods of control must be investigated.