Tuesday, 7 October 2008: 9:00 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 382C
Red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera; Formicidae) is a major pest in urban landscapes including residential/commercial lawns, sports fields, golf courses, parks and highway rights-of-way. Foraging preferences for various turfgrass clippings were investigated under controlled lab conditions by exposing clippings of each grass to fire ant foragers for a 5-h period. Tifway and Baby clippings were 7 times more preferred than Tifton 10 and GN1 bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.). TXKY 00-34-2 had 5 times more foraging ants on it than TXKY 01-59-9 Texas bluegrass x Kentucky bluegrass hybrid (Poa pratensis L. X P. arachnifera Torr.). El Toro was only 2 times more preferred than Crowne zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica). BitterBlue was 3.4 times more preferred than Floratam St. Augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum Walt. Kuntze). There were 2-4 times more ants foraging Texoka than either Prairie or Bison, respectively [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.]. After foraging for 5-h on clippings of the five or six cultivars in each replicate, preference for grasses (expressed as the number of ants on each grass) was bermudagrass (169.3) > zoysiagrass (137.5) = bluegrass hybrids (136.8) > St. Augustinegrass (127.1) > buffalograss (34.5).