Determination and management of weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera

Formicidae), marks on mango fruit in the Northern Territory of Australia

Renkang Peng, Keith Christian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius), can be used to manage insect pests in mango orchards in the Northern Territory of Australia, but previously unidentified black marks on fruit can reduce fruit marketability. To determine the cause of the marks, and to reduce the number of fruits by such marks, field experiments were conducted in three mango orchards in the Darwin area of Australia in 2001 and 2002. The results from netting bag-rearing showed that the black marks on fruit were due to the deposition of weaver ant formic acid, and fighting between weaver ant colonies was the major cause of the deposition. In treatments without isolation of weaver ant colonies, an average of 4.8% of fruits with the ant marks were downgraded, and this damage level was reduced to 2.1% in treatments with isolation of weaver ant colonies. Because of weaver ant foraging behaviour, this small proportion of downgraded fruits was unavoidable, but the benefits of the ants as biocontrol agents against a range of pests outweighs the cost of the damage the ants cause.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-30
    Number of pages4
    JournalInternational Journal of Pest Management
    Volume55
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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    Oecophylla smaragdina
    Northern Territory
    mangoes
    Formicidae
    Hymenoptera
    fruits
    orchards
    netting
    formic acid
    insect pests
    biological control agents
    bags
    rearing
    pests
    foraging

    Cite this

    @article{3d4078d20ed043018f30dcbceeaf2666,
    title = "Determination and management of weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), marks on mango fruit in the Northern Territory of Australia",
    abstract = "Weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius), can be used to manage insect pests in mango orchards in the Northern Territory of Australia, but previously unidentified black marks on fruit can reduce fruit marketability. To determine the cause of the marks, and to reduce the number of fruits by such marks, field experiments were conducted in three mango orchards in the Darwin area of Australia in 2001 and 2002. The results from netting bag-rearing showed that the black marks on fruit were due to the deposition of weaver ant formic acid, and fighting between weaver ant colonies was the major cause of the deposition. In treatments without isolation of weaver ant colonies, an average of 4.8{\%} of fruits with the ant marks were downgraded, and this damage level was reduced to 2.1{\%} in treatments with isolation of weaver ant colonies. Because of weaver ant foraging behaviour, this small proportion of downgraded fruits was unavoidable, but the benefits of the ants as biocontrol agents against a range of pests outweighs the cost of the damage the ants cause.",
    keywords = "ant, biocontrol agent, biological control, formic acid, fruit production, orchard, pest control, pest damage, Australasia, Australia, Darwin, Northern Territory, Formicidae, Hexapoda, Hymenoptera, Oecophylla smaragdina, Oecophyllini",
    author = "Renkang Peng and Keith Christian",
    year = "2009",
    language = "English",
    volume = "55",
    pages = "27--30",
    journal = "International Journal of Pest Management",
    issn = "0030-7793",
    publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
    number = "1",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Determination and management of weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera

    T2 - Formicidae), marks on mango fruit in the Northern Territory of Australia

    AU - Peng, Renkang

    AU - Christian, Keith

    PY - 2009

    Y1 - 2009

    N2 - Weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius), can be used to manage insect pests in mango orchards in the Northern Territory of Australia, but previously unidentified black marks on fruit can reduce fruit marketability. To determine the cause of the marks, and to reduce the number of fruits by such marks, field experiments were conducted in three mango orchards in the Darwin area of Australia in 2001 and 2002. The results from netting bag-rearing showed that the black marks on fruit were due to the deposition of weaver ant formic acid, and fighting between weaver ant colonies was the major cause of the deposition. In treatments without isolation of weaver ant colonies, an average of 4.8% of fruits with the ant marks were downgraded, and this damage level was reduced to 2.1% in treatments with isolation of weaver ant colonies. Because of weaver ant foraging behaviour, this small proportion of downgraded fruits was unavoidable, but the benefits of the ants as biocontrol agents against a range of pests outweighs the cost of the damage the ants cause.

    AB - Weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius), can be used to manage insect pests in mango orchards in the Northern Territory of Australia, but previously unidentified black marks on fruit can reduce fruit marketability. To determine the cause of the marks, and to reduce the number of fruits by such marks, field experiments were conducted in three mango orchards in the Darwin area of Australia in 2001 and 2002. The results from netting bag-rearing showed that the black marks on fruit were due to the deposition of weaver ant formic acid, and fighting between weaver ant colonies was the major cause of the deposition. In treatments without isolation of weaver ant colonies, an average of 4.8% of fruits with the ant marks were downgraded, and this damage level was reduced to 2.1% in treatments with isolation of weaver ant colonies. Because of weaver ant foraging behaviour, this small proportion of downgraded fruits was unavoidable, but the benefits of the ants as biocontrol agents against a range of pests outweighs the cost of the damage the ants cause.

    KW - ant

    KW - biocontrol agent

    KW - biological control

    KW - formic acid

    KW - fruit production

    KW - orchard

    KW - pest control

    KW - pest damage

    KW - Australasia

    KW - Australia

    KW - Darwin

    KW - Northern Territory

    KW - Formicidae

    KW - Hexapoda

    KW - Hymenoptera

    KW - Oecophylla smaragdina

    KW - Oecophyllini

    M3 - Article

    VL - 55

    SP - 27

    EP - 30

    JO - International Journal of Pest Management

    JF - International Journal of Pest Management

    SN - 0030-7793

    IS - 1

    ER -