The number of queens in red imported fire ant colonies and Texas horned lizard densityShow full item record
|The number of queens in red imported fire ant colonies and Texas horned lizard density
|Invasive species, such as the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invcita, hereafter, RIFA), can negatively impact native species via predation and modifying prey behavior. RIFA exist in two colony types, monogyne (single queen) and polygyne (multiple queens), and polygyne colonies are known to contain higher densities of fire ants than monogyne colonies. Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) eggs and hatchlings are suspected prey of RIFA's foraging and aggressive behaviors. In this study, we collected fire ants from Karnes City and Kenedy to determine if Texas horned lizard density is lower around polygyne colonies. We collected and sequenced 30 ants, of which 20 were RIFA. Counter to our expectations, there seemed to be no correlation between RIFA colony type and Texas horned lizard density. Furthermore, we found evidence that monogyne and polygyne colonies were coexisting. In future studies, we think larger sampling sizes and determing ratios of polygyne to monogyne colonies within the same area would be useful for further testing the hypothesis that colony type may affect horned lizard density.
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
- Undergraduate Honors Papers