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Mitigating predatory ants promotes establishment of biological control of Arundo by Arundo scale in cattle fever tick quarantine zone

A. Velez-Bonner, W. L. A. Osbrink, K. R. Summy, D. W. Thomas, A. T. Showler, A. Pérez de León, J. A. Goolsby
Subtropical plant science 2013 v.65 pp. 38-44
Arundo donax, Formicidae, baits, biological control, biological control agents, habitats, immatures, invasive species, observational studies, predatory insects, surveys, Rio Grande River, Texas
Ant collection, identification, and control experiments were conducted to improve the establishment of the arundo scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis, a biological control agent of Arundo donax, an invasive weed in the riparian habitats along the Rio Grande in Texas. Observational studies indicated R. donacis immatures are preyed upon by a variety of predator insects, especially ants. A survey of the principle ant species was made at sites along the Rio Grande with Arundo donax to help direct biological control strategies. We conclude that uses of ant baits can effectively control the common ant species found in these habitats and improve the establishment of R. donacis. .