UT Fire Ant Lab
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The Mass Attack System

In the attack arenas, trays of fire ants are exposed to the phorid flies for attack. Each tray of ants is left in the arena for about 3 days to maximize the number of ants that are attacked by phorids while also minimizing the numbers of ants that are attacked more than once. (If more than one egg is laid in an ant, none of the eggs will develop.) The ants hide their brood under a small cup in the tray and every 10 minutes a computer activates a mechanism that lifts up the cup and lowers another cup on the other side of the tray. The ants will run back and forth carrying the brood to the new safe place and in the process are exposed to the attacking flies.

The environments of the attack chambers are carefully controlled to provide a high humidity (>85% RH) and temperatures between 28 - 29C.

Fire ant phorid fly attack chamber

MFire ant phorid fly attack chamber

Go to:

Main Menu, Lab Tour intro

1. Drip line, 2. Formicary, 3. Sieving, 4. Mass Attack, 5. Rearing pupae


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