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Arthropods of Rose Atoll with special reference to ants and Pulvinaria urbicola scales (Hemiptera: coccidae) on Pisonia grandis trees.

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Title:Arthropods of Rose Atoll with special reference to ants and Pulvinaria urbicola scales (Hemiptera: coccidae) on Pisonia grandis trees.
Authors:Peck, Robert
Banko, Paul
Pendleton, Frank
Schmaedick, Mark
Ernsberger, Kelsie
Keywords:Samoan Archipelago, facultative relationship, ants, scale
Date Issued:24 Jan 2016
Series:Technical Report HCSU - 057
Abstract:Rose Atoll, at the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago, is a small but important refuge for seabirds, shorebirds, and sea turtles. While the vertebrate community is relatively well-studied, the terrestrial arthropod fauna, and its role in ecosystem function, are poorly known. Arthropods may be influencing the decline of Pisonia grandis, an ecologically important tree that once dominated the 6.6 ha of land on Rose Atoll. Reasons for the decline are not fully understood but a facultative relationship between two invasive arthropods, the soft scale Pulvinaria urbicola and ants, likely has contributed to tree death. The primary objectives of this study were to systematically survey the terrestrial arthropod fauna and identify ant species that tend scales on Pisonia. Using an array of standard arthropod collecting techniques, at least 73 species from 20 orders were identified, including nine ant species. Of the ants collected, only Tetramorium bicarinatum and T. simillimum were observed tending scales on Pisonia. No known natural enemies of Pulvinaria scales were found, suggesting little predation on scale populations. Treatment of Pisonia with the systemic insecticide imidacloprid failed to eliminate Pulvinaria scales, although short-term suppression apparently occurred. The arthropod fauna of Rose Atoll is dominated by exotic species that likely have a significant impact on the structure and function of the island’s ecosystem.
Appears in Collections: Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit (HCSU)

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