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Predation activity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on sugar beet insect pests.

Amira Shawky Ibrahim.

The role of ants as important predators for a wide range of insect pests has not received much attention in Egyptian fields. Thus, this study was carried out for evaluating the role of predatory ants in controlling sugar beet insect pests during two successive seasons;2017/2018 and 2018/2019. Data showed the population densities of insect pests and predatory ants started low and tended to increase at the end of the season. Predatory ants were the most highly representation by 27.03 and 30.53% out of total in the first and second seasons, respectively. Statistical analysis demonstrated that highly significant correlations were recorded between predatory ants number and the total number of all studied sugar beet insect pests in both seasons. Results of visual observation method indicated that the various fed by predatory ants in sugar beet fields. Concernning the most preferred prey species, hemiptera was the highest consumption by predatory ants (36.59 and 33.70% out of total) in the first and second seasons, respectively. Then, lepidoptera (18.90%) and coleoptera (14.02%) occupied the second and third positions in the first season. While in the second season, coleoptera formed 27.17%out of total followed by lepidoptera which formed 21.20%out of total. The following ranks occupied by without arranging diptera, thysanura and collembola with12.19, 4.87 and 7.31%out of total, respectively in 2017/2018 season. They recorded 5.98, 5.43 and 2.17%out of total, respectively in 2018/2019 season. Whereas prostigmata (arachnida) occupied the last position in both seasons with 5.48 and 1.63%out of total, respectively.

Key words: Ants; Predators; Biological control; Sugar beet

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