Wu, D., Zeng, L., Zhou, A., & Xu, Y. 2013 Effects of Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Tending on the Probing Behavior of Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Florida Entomologist 96(4):1343-1349

Notes: The involvement of red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren in the probing behavior of the mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley was investigated. The electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique was applied to compare the different probing behavior of ant-tended and untended adult female mealybugs on hibiscus seedlings. The results showed that the duration of the E1, E2, and G waveforms for the mealybugs from both treatments were not significantly different. However, the E1 waveform (which indicates that the stylets have reached phloem and salivation has begun) appeared earlier in ant-tended mealybugs, with a shortened duration of the path waveform (C). The percentage of mealybugs with E2 (phloem) and G (xylem) waveforms were not significantly changed after fire ant tending, whereas apparent increases of E1e and F waveforms were observed. Therefore, the results suggested that S. invicta has significant effects on the probing behavior of P. solenopsis.