The seasonal reproductive status of tawny crazy ant queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Florida.
The tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant that is spreading in the southern USA. The control of invasive ants requires an understanding of their biology to implement measures of suppression such as strategically applying ant baits to eliminate queens. Nylanderia fulva queens were collected monthly in north central Florida and dissected to determine their seasonal reproductive status. The percentages of queens with > 50 eggs increased from 26% in winter to a peak of 68% in summer, while queens with < 10 eggs was below 20% per season. Thus, eggs were present in queens throughout the yr. Likewise, mated queens were present in each season, with 81 to 92% of the queens inseminated. While queens were fecund yr-round, the lack of brood production in winter may indicate a curtailment of colony foraging to feed queens and larvae which could impede the strategy of baiting queens consolidated in winter nest sites.