Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a small but voracious predator of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

Takumasa Kondo, Angela María Arcila, Laura Isabel Colorado, Yenifer Campos-Patiño, Paola Sotelo-Cardona


The effect of predation by the little fire ant Wasmannia auropuntacta (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) kept under experimental conditions for the breeding of the parasitoid Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) was evaluated. An experiment was carried out using cages with capacity for 9 plants of Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack (Rutaceae) infested with an average of 600 nymphs of D. citri and 100 adults of T. radiata per cage. Three cages were exposed to ants and one had no ant exposure (Control). In each cage, the numbers of healthy and parasitized nymphs and the numbers of adults of D. citri and T. radiata were counted every 2 days for 15 days. Exposure to predation by W. auropunctata significantly affected the number of nymphs that reached the adult stage as well as the number of nymphs parasitized by T. radiata (Fisher's exact test). In the ant-exposed cages, about 3% of the nymphs survived to the adult stage in contrast to 18% in the control cage. Likewise, the action of the parasitoid was affected, with 24% of nymphs parasitized in the ant-exposed cages in contrast to 66% in the control cage. Wasmannia auropunctata has a great potential as a natural enemy of this psyllid pest in citrus nurseries. The ant also consumes T. radiata by consuming parasitized nymphs of D. citri and this predation may negatively impact the control of D. citri by the parasitoid.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21829/azm.2018.3412127

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Acta Zoológica Mexicana (nueva serie), 2019, Vol. 35, es una publicación electrónica continua de acceso abierto, editada por el Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL), Carretera antigua a Coatepec 351, Col. El Haya, Xalapa, Ver. C.P. 91070, Tel. (228) 842-1800, extensión 4112 http://azm.ojs.inecol.mx/index.php/azm. Editor responsable: Sergio Ibáñez-Bernal, sergio.ibanez@inecol.mx. Reservas de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo No. 04-2016-062312173100-203, versión on-line ISSN 2448-8445, [antes también impresa ISSN 0065-1737], con registros otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Responsable de la última actualización de este volumen, Sergio Ibáñez-Bernal, Carretera antigua a Coatepec, 351, Col. El Haya, Xalapa, Ver., C.P. 91070. Fecha de la última modificación: 18 de enero de 2019.