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Genus Pseudacteon - Fire Ant Decapitating Flies

Pseudacteon attack on Solenopsis geminata - Pseudacteon Pseudacteon attacking Solenopsis geminata colony - Pseudacteon - female Pseudacteon attacking Solenopsis geminata colony - Pseudacteon - female Pseudacteon - female Fly - Pseudacteon Fly - Pseudacteon Fly - Pseudacteon Pseudacteon curvatus - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Aschiza")
Superfamily Platypezoidea
Family Phoridae (Scuttle Flies)
Subfamily Metopininae
Genus Pseudacteon (Fire Ant Decapitating Flies)
Explanation of Names
Pseudacteon Coquillett 1907
8 spp. in our area, >20 spp. total(1)
About the size of the heads of their hosts
review in(1); key to spp. (based on ♀♀) on p. 956
primarily neotropical, ranging into so. US; in our area, by far most diverse in TX (only P. crawfordi is also known from OK & AZ)(1)
some are endoparasitoids of fire ants (Solenopsis geminata complex)(1)
In 1997, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier was the first species of Pseudacteon fly successfully released as a biocontrol agent for imported fire ants in the U.S. (Callcott et al. 2011). Five other species, Pseudacteon curvatus Borgmeier, Pseudacteon litoralis Borgmeier, Pseudacteon obtusus Borgmeier, Pseudacteon nocens Borgmeier, and Pseudacteon cultellatus Borgmeier have since been released (Porter and Calcaterra 2013).
Internet References
USDA. Illustrated Key to Pseudacteon Decapitating Flies that Attack Solenopsis saevissima complex Fire Ants.
U. Florida. Pseudacteon spp.
U. Texas. Fire Ant Project. Use of phorid flies for biocontrol
Works Cited
1.A review of Pseudacteon (Diptera: Phoridae) that parasitize ants of the Solenopsis geminata complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Plowes R.M., LeBrun E.G., Brown B.V., Gilbert L.E. 2009. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 102: 937-958.