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J Invertebr Pathol. 2004 May-Jun;86(1-2):38-44.

Occurrence of Myrmicinosporidium durum in red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and other new host ants in eastern United States.

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USDA, ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, 1600 SW, 23rd Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA.


Myrmicinosporidium durum, a parasitic fungus in several ant species, is reported from seven new hosts collected in the eastern United States, including Solenopsis invicta, Solenopsis carolinensis, Paratrechina vividula, Pheidole tysoni, Pheidole bicarinata, Pyramica membranifera, and Pogonomyrmex badius. Spores can be found in most ant body parts, are dark brown when mature, and clear to light brown while immature. Ants infected with mature spores appear darker than normal. Spores from different hosts were 47-57 microm in diameter. Prevalence in host populations varied between 2 and 67% of the ants, and 3-100% of the colonies. Infection was most common in S. carolinensis with prevalence rates between 22 and 67%. Prevalence rates for S. invicta individuals were lower than for other ants, however, prevalence rates within the infected colonies were as high as 31%. Observations of disease were recorded mostly from late summer and fall. Possible implications of this new disease in red imported fire ants are discussed.

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