Some Effects of the Big-Headed Ant on Populations of the Pink Sugarcane Mealybug1•2

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Saccharicoccus sacchari (Cockerell), the pink sugarcane mealybug, has many natural enemies in Hawaii. This study was conducted to investigate some of the effects that the big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala (F.), the commonest ant in Hawaiian sugarcane fields, has on populations and parasitization of the pink sugarcane mealybug. The presence of the big-headed ant appeared to result in slightly larger populations of the pink sugarcane mealybug. During periods of unfavorable weather conditions, populations of the pink sugarcane mealybug decreased considerably irrespective of the presence or absence of the ants. The attending of the pink sugarcane mealybug by this ant did not seem to be a detrimental factor in the parasitization of the mealybug by Anagyrus saccharicola (Timberlake), nor did the size of the populations of the pink sugarcane mealybug have any effect on parasitism by this parasite.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1968

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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