Open Access: CC BY 4.0


Ning, D., Yang, F., Xiao, Q., Ran, H. & Xu, Y.

Year: 2019


A simple and efficient method for preventing ant escape (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 29

Pages: 57-65

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: No


During the process of insect rearing and research, reliable insect escape prevention is indispensable. However, methods for preventing the escape of small insects, such as ants, remain limited. We used a mixture of talc powder and ethanol to prepare an anti-escape solution and compared its effects on Solenopsis invicta Buren, 1972 and Monomorium intrudens Smith, 1874 with those of Fluon. Talc powder of six different finenesses mixed with ethanol at a concentration of 20% could prevent 100% of S. invicta from escaping, and the mixture of talc powder and ethanol could also prohibit 100% of M. intrudens from escaping when the particle diameter (D97) values were 2 mm and 3 mm. Furthermore, the mixture could prohibit 100% of M. intrudens from escaping when the concentration of talc power (D97 = 2 mm) was higher than 1%, and the anti-escape effect of this solution was maintained for more than three months and was stable for one year. However, Fluon could not prevent M. intrudens from escaping in one-day tests. Scanning electron microscopy showed that, at the same concentration, the gaps between particles decreased with decreasing talc powder particle size. The ratio of worker weight to adhesive-pad (arolium) area in S. invicta was approximately twice that in M. intrudens. The size and spacing of talc particles as well as the weight and adhesion ability of the ants are the main factors that determine anti-escape efficacy. The results suggest that the talc powder-ethanol mixture is more efficient than Fluon in the prevention of escape in small ant species.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2019 The Author(s).

Key words: Red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, Monomorium intrudens, talc powder, ethanol, anti-escape liquid.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

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