Effect of red imported fire ants on reproduction, health, and survival of northern bobwhites



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Texas Tech University


The red imported fire ant affects northern bobwhite by killing pipping chicks (Mitchell 1989) and altering activity of young chicks Pedersen et al. 1996). In addition, the red imported fire ant may dramatically alter the abundance of invertebrates, an important component of northem bobwhite diets, when it colonizes an area (Porter and Savignano 1990). However, there is no evidence northem bobwhite populations are significantly impacted by these particular effects. The red imported fire ant could affect northem bobwhite populations through other means, such as by altering growth or reproduction of northem bobwhite through physiological effects of envenomation.

This study evaluated potential mechanisms by which red imported fire ants impact northern bobwhite reproduction, survival, and health. The objectives were to determine the effects of red imported fire ants on hatching success, growth, immunocompetence, and survival of northern bobwhite chicks.



Solenopsis invicta, Northern bobwhite, Fire ants