The good side of the bad guys: predation of lepidopteran pests by Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Florida Panhandle.
Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an aggressive invasive species in many parts of the world, including the southeastern USA. The objectives of this study were to document S. invicta occurrence and predation potential of lepidopteran pests in peanut and cotton fields in the Florida Panhandle. The predation potential of S. invicta on Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was evaluated in experimental areas of peanut and cotton at the West Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, Jay, Florida, USA, during 2 crop seasons. Overall, we found a beneficial aspect of this invasive species in the agroecosystems of the Florida Panhandle.