Comparing different methods for trapping mated queens of weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda; Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Rozalia Gration Rwegasira, Maulid Mwatawala, Gration Mutashoberwa Rwegasira, Gissel Nielsen Mogens, Joachim Offenberg
2015 Biocontrol science and technology (Print)  
The predatory efficiency of African weaver ants Oecophylla longinoda and their utilisation in protein production is a function of ant abundance. Reliable control of insect pests in tropical crops is achieved when ant populations are constantly high. Transplanted populations of weaver ant colonies containing egg-laying queens are more stable than those without. Achieving such stability through collection of colonies established in the wild is usually difficult because of uncertainty in locating
more » ... he nest containing the egg-laying queen. In this study, we investigated four methods that may be used to collect mated queens that subsequently can be used to stock ant nurseries. The catch efficiencies of (1) leaf traps, (2) paper traps (both types providing a refuge for founding queens), (3) random search for queens and (4) light trapping were compared. Light trapping was the most efficient way to collect queens followed by leaf traps, random search and, last, paper traps. Light trapping and random search, though, required the presence of a person throughout the ant's mating season (several months), whereas this was not required when using leaf and paper traps.
doi:10.1080/09583157.2014.992861 fatcat:folctz2vwjbrracwg66gxk2tw4