A microorganism similar to the fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum described from ants species was observed infecting a population of Paratrechina faisonensis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) during August 2000 in western Tennessee. In several collections at the same location over three years, no infected ants were observed. Infected ants are easily recognized under a dissecting microscope because of the numerous round, dark spores inside the body cavity. Most spores are found in the abdomen but some are found in other body regions, including legs and antennae. Twenty-two infected ants were collected among 493 specimens collected (4.5%) in bait stations containing a sugary solution. One infected ant was collected in pitfall traps along with 7 uninfected ants (12.5%). Apparently, ants continue to normal activity despite large number of spores present in their body, as indicated by collection of ants in bait stations.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Paratrechina faisonensis
Keywords: ant, pathogen
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA