Weaver Ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) performance in mango and cashew trees under different management regime

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  • Rosine Wargui, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Abomey Calavi, BP 526 Cotonou, République du Bénin., Benin
  • A Adandonon, Université d’Abomey Calavi, Benin
  • Antonio Sinzogan, Université d’Abomey Calavi, Benin
  • Jean-François Vayssières, CIRAD, UPR HortSys, 34398 Montpellier, France; IITA, Biocontrol Unit for Africa, 08 BP 0932, Cotonou, République du Bénin, France
  • Hans Joachim Offenberg
Weaver ants are used for biological control of insect pests in plantation crops.
To obtain proper pest control, ant densities need to be high. Food availability
and nesting facilities on host plants and management practices may affect ant
performance. In the present study, we tested the effect of two host plant species
(mango and cashew) and three different management practices (ants only, ants
fed with sugar and ants combined with the soft chemical insecticide Spinosad) on
weaver ant performance. Performance was assessed over a 22 month period, as
an index value based on the number of ant trails per tree and as the number of
ant nests per tree. A total of 216 trees (72 per treatment) were observed in each
crop. In all treatments, the ants performed better in mango compared to cashew.
Using the index based performance measure, ants also performed better in the
sugar treatment as compared to the two other treatments, whereas this was
not the case in cashew. We conclude that sugar feeding can be used to increase
ant populations in mango. We also found that the treatment with Spinosad in
combination with ants showed performance equal to the treatments with only
ants, suggesting that Spinosad did not negatively affect ant populations. We
therefore conclude that Spinosad is compatible with the use of weaver ants in
integrated pest management programs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociobiology
Volume65
Issue2
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
ISSN0361-6525
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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