Predation on eggs of the apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae) by the fire ant Solenopsis geminata
Kyushu National Agricultural Experiment Station, Nishigoshi, Kumamoto 861-1192, Japan
e-mail: yusa@knaes. affrc.gojp
A field survey and two experimental manipulations were made to investigate the extent of predation on eggs of the apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck) by the fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius) in the Philippines. First, when Pomacea egg masses found along levees of paddy fields were observed, more than half of them had some damage. More fire ants were observed near egg masses with higher degrees of damage. Secondly, when egg masses were experimentally placed on levees, on average 50% of the eggs were lost (removed or damaged) within two days in March and 38% were lost within three days in August. Thirdly, egg masses were placed in cups with or without water on levees; no eggs were lost when ants were successfully excluded by water. The proportion of lost eggs was highly variable among egg masses, but there was no difference between day and night. Possible use of this ant as a biocontrol agent for the apple snail is considered.
Journal of Molluscan Studies (2001), 67:275-279