The 2005 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition
December 15-18, 2005
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Excretion of phosphoric acid by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Jian Chen,, USDA-ARS, BCPRU, 141 Experiment Station Rd, Stoneville, MS

Food sources, mineral redistribution and excreta are some of the ways ants enrich their mound environment. Phosphorus excretion has not been reported in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Quantification of phosphoric acid in worker fecal droplets and larval anal liquid of S. invicta was performed. Phosphoric acid was trimethylsilylated using N,O-Bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide and the tris(trimethylsilyl) phosphate was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Phosphoric acid made up 2.13 1.08% (mean SD) of the dry weight of worker fecal droplets and 2.09 0.72% of the larval anal liquid. Phosphoric acid production rate of workers was 0.08 0.024 g/ant/day (mean SD). Because the hindgut of red imported fire ant larva is separated from the midgut, the excretory products in larval anal liquid are primarily of metabolic origin. The presence of phosphoric acid in larval anal liquid demonstrates that red imported fire ants excrete phosphoric acid.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Solenopsis invicta (Red imported fire ant)
Keywords: excretion, phosphoric acid