Preference and effect of gustatory sense on sugar-feeding of fire ants.

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Date: Aug. 11, 2021
From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 8,884 words
Lexile Measure: 1310L

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Abstract :

Background The red imported fire ant is one of the notorious species of ants all over the world. Sugar is one of the most important components of food and necessary for the survival of ants. Because more than 70% food of fire ants is honeydew produced by Homopteran insects such as aphids and scales. Methodology It is well known that beetles, flies, and honey bees can recognize the sugar taste through their legs and antennae, but in the case of fire ants, no records regarding gustatory sense were published. In the current study, considering the importance of sugar bait, we investigated the gustatory sense of the fire ant workers to sucrose via behavioral sequence and gustatory behavior. First, the feeding sequence (ethogram) of the fire ant workers on most preferred sugar (sucrose) solution was observed and categorized. Secondly, the gustatory behavior of treated fire ant workers (without flagellum and foreleg tarsi treated with HCL solution) was observed on the sucrose solution. In addition, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques, we identified the possible porous sensilla types on antenna flagellum and foreleg tarsi of fire ant workers. Results Based on the results of feeding sequence, foreleg tarsi of workers were the main body appendages in the detection of the sucrose droplet as compared to antennae flagellum and palps. Feeding time of treated workers with HCL solution was significantly decreased on sucrose solution as compared to those workers having no flagellum. While both types of treated workers have less feeding time in comparison to normal workers. Based on the results of feeding sequence analysis and feeding time, it is indicating that the foreleg tarsi of workers play a more important role in the detection of sucrose solution as compared to antennae flagellum. Based on the SEM results, sensilla chaetic, trichoid II, and basiconic I and II have a clear pore at their tip. This study provides a substantial basis for elucidating the gustatory function of antennal and tarsal sensilla on appendages of fire ant workers to sugars and further baits improvement for the management of fire ants.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A671497353