Megan Rudolph


The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive species endemic to South America that was inadvertently introduced into the United States. This invasive species costs over six billion dollars (USD) annually and causes substantial ecological and agricultural damage. Anthranilic diamides are novel chemical insecticides that selectively target the insect ryanodine receptor in the endoplasmic reticulum, causing calcium release and insect mortality. In this study, cyclaniliprole, an anthranilic diamide, was used to cause significant mortality in S. invicta workers. RNA interference (RNAi) is a known regulator of biological systems in insects and was also used in this study to downregulate the short Neuropeptide F Receptor (sNPFR) in S. invicta workers and larvae. Gene expression was quantified for sNPFR in different S. invicta caste members, and dsRNA was produced for sNPFR and was administered to S. invicta brood and workers. Primers for the sNPFR sequence were also produced and tested on Tawny crazy ant workers, Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a natural enemy of S. invicta and invasive pest. By doing this, a single dsRNA construct could potentially be used to manage both S. invicta and N. fulva.

Date of publication

Fall 11-1-2015

Document Type




Persistent identifier

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Biology Commons