Evaluating the impact of temperature on interspecific competition of Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) and Solenopsis invicta (Buren)

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:48 AM
B115-116 (Oregon Convention Center)
M. T. Bentley , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Faith M. Oi , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Nylanderia fulva (Meyer), also known as the tawny crazy ant, is an invasive pest ant established in Florida and several other Gulf Coast states. In non-native ranges large N. fulva populations have reduced species abundance, even displacing another invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta (Buren) Few studies have assessed the mechanisms associated with this displacement. Some invasive ant species rely on variations in their thermal tolerance to dominate interspecific competition across a range of thermal conditions. The impact of temperature on N. fulva’s ability to compete with S. invicta for resources has never been evaluated. To address this gap in knowledge, N. fulva’s ability to acquire resources (tuna, 20% sucrose solution) in the presence or absence of competition with S. invicta was evaluated at 15, 25, and 35°C.