Essay on Phorid Flies: Friend or Foe Against the Fire Ants

Essay on Phorid Flies: Friend or Foe Against the Fire Ants

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Since the beginning of human existence this race has been using science in order to protect and advance their society. However as time has progressed the use of this modification has created both positive and negative repercussions. In 1999, the community of Denton, Texas brought in an un-indigenous species to eradicate their fire ant problem. While bringing in this species, the phorid fly, did immediately benefit the community, it will also have long lasting effects on the ecosystem in Denton. In order to weigh both the risk and reward of the phorid fly, it is important to examine all sides of the arguments for and against them.
However before the benefits and detriments of the phorid fly are presented the problem must be put into perspective. The fire ants who invaded the town of Denton were not indigenous to the area and caused many issues for residents of the area. The ants are extremely aggressive and attack anyone who disturbs their nests leaving welts that last for weeks. The ants also took over the residents homes ensuring that no space was safe from their sting. They can damage crops, electrical equipment, and the ecosystem. Solenopsis invicta, the scientific name for the invasive fire ant, reduced biodiversity among reptiles, lizards, and small mammals by causing death to the organisms. In total the ants are estimated to cost the United States one billion dollars a year (without considering economic losses which add another ninety million.)
The phorid fly is a parasitic species whose host animal is the ant. In Denton the infestation of fire ants was partly due to the fact that there were no predators native to the area in which the fire ants had made their home. The fire ants main limiting factor was rain which washed aw...


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Works Cited

http://people.ucsc.edu/~sphilpot/Publications_files/Philpott_etal_2004_Oikos.PDF
http://www.ars.usda.gov/sp2UserFiles/Place/66151015/publications/Gilbert_et_al-2008(M-4307).pdf
http://people.missouristate.edu/lloydmorrison/PDF%20files/RecResDevEntomol(00)3;1-13.pdf
http://sswe.tamu.edu/PDF/SWE_S25_P007-17.pdf
Callcott, Anne-Marie A., Sanford D. Porter, Ronald D. Weeks, Jr., and L. C. "Abstract." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
Philpott, Stacy M., and Gabriella L. Pardee. "Environmental Entomology." BioOne. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
"Issg Database: Impact Information for Solenopsis Invicta." Issg Database: Impact Information for Solenopsis Invicta. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
"Web.biosci.utexas.edu - /." Web.biosci.utexas.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.

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