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Since the first release of phorid flies into Alabama in 1998, the flies have spread over 2/3 of the state, and are continuing to spread outward by 10-20 miles each year. The expansion of the phorid flies continues to be monitored each summer.
This past summer, Wilcox County became the first site in the United States to have three species of phorid fly established in one place, and also the only place in the country where the Pseudacteon litoralis species has ever been recovered in the field. Pseudacteon tricuspis, Pseudacteon curvatus, and now Pseudacteon litoralis are all combating fire ants together at this site.
There are more than 20 different species of phorid fly present in South America, which is the fire ant and phorid fly's natural home. The Alabama Fire Ant Management Program plans to release a fourth of these species into Alabama this summer, Pseudacteon obtusus. This phorid species attacks smaller fire ant workers and prefers trailing or solitary ants; whereas the other three species are attracted to mound disturbances.
|Macon||1999||P. tricuspis||Graham||Michael Williams, landowner|
|Franklin||2000||P. tricuspis||Graham||Tim Reed, ACES|
|Henry Dorough, ACES|
|Lowndes||2001||P. tricuspis||Graham||David Oglesby, ACES
David Daniel, ACES
|Madison||2002||P. curvatus||Ken & Rufina Ward||Alabama A&M|
|Colbert||2002||P. curvatus||Ken & Rufina Ward||Natchez Trace|
|Walker||2002||P. curvatus||Graham||Danny Cain, ACES|
||Marla Faver. ACES|
||Charlie Mason, ACES|
|Cullman||2003||P. curvatus||Graham||Charles Pinkston, ACES|
|Marengo||2003||P. tricuspis||Graham||Kevan Tucker, ACES|
|Tuscaloosa||2004||P. tricuspis||Graham||Michelle Mobley, ACES|
|Dekalb||2005||P. tricuspis||Graham||Tony Dawkins, AAES|
|Wilcox||2005||P. litoralis||Graham||Jack Biddle, landowner|
|Mobile||2006||P. curvatus||Graham||Bruce Porter, Fish and Wildlife Services|
|Lee||2008||P. obtusus||Graham||Phil and Daria Story, landowners|
Article Name: >Fear of predators may be a bigger killer than the predators themselves
Media Contact: Todd McLeish
"When biologists consider the effects that predators have on their prey, they shouldn’t just count the number of individuals consumed. According to a University of Rhode Island ecologist, they must also examine the effects of fear."
Last Updated: March 28, 2013