Computational protocol: Field Trapping the Little Fire Ant, Wasmannia auropunctata

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Protocol publication

[…] Two new detection methods were developed for comparison with the existing food—based detection of W. auropunctata. Both methods included a pheromone attractant and a capture/retention device; either a sticky trap or a one—way trap. The sticky trap utilized double—sided carpet tape, and the one—way trap was constructed from plastic Petri dishes and weed mat.One—way traps were assembled as follows (). The bottom part of the trap was constructed from a Petri dish bottom (100 O.D. × 15 mm H) (BD Biosciences, www.bdbiosciences.com) with a 5 × 5 cm square cut from the middle. Conically—perforated weed mat (Weed Block, Easy Gardener Products, Inc., www.easygardener.com) was affixed over the opening with hot—glue. A push pin was glued onto the outside of the Petri dish to secure the trap to trees at test sites. The top part of the trap consisted of a second Petri dish bottom, with a rubber septum (13 mm snap—on stopper rubber septa, Wheaton, www.wheaton.com) glued onto the inside surface, which fit snugly onto the bottom half of the trap. The rubber septa were treated with pheromone in the field, and trap halves were fitted together immediately before each experiment.The sticky trap was made from a 3.5 × 3.5 cm square of double—sided outdoor carpet tape (3M, www.3m.com) with a rubber septum stuck to the center of the outward—facing surface. The tape was precut and rubber septa were applied in the laboratory. The rubber septa were treated with pheromone in the field immediately before each experiment.The food—based detection method involved the use of a popsicle stick thinly coated with peanut butter attached to trees with a push pin. The peanut butter was applied in the field immediately before each experiment. [...] Data from transect visual survey (Experiment 2) and trapping comparison (Experiment 3) were mapped using GIS software. For detection method comparisons, species specificity is defined as detecting the known presence of W. auropunctata (based on data from Experiment 2) without capturing other species. Differences in species specificity between detection methods were analyzed using Fisher's exact test. Ant species diversity (cohabitation) within plots was analyzed using Fisher's exact test, since many of the species had small sample sizes. Initially, W. auropunctata cohabitation was compared to all other ant species by collapsing the ant species categories into a 2 × 2 contingency table. Cohabitation for all ant species were then compared in 2 × 2 contingency tables with Fisher's exact test. Multiple hypothesis testing error was measured by false discovery rate (FDR) using the False Discovery Rate Tool (Microsoft, www.microsoft.com). The number of W. auropunctata captures with each detection method (Experiment 3) were analyzed using ANOVA followed by Tukey's HSD test (α = 0.05) to compare means. The number of other ant captures with each detection method (Experiment 3) were not homogeneous (Levene's test) and were analyzed by Kruskal—Wallis test followed by pair—wise comparisons with Mann—Whitney U test to compare medians. The number of W. auropunctata trapped in different microhabitats (Experiment 4) was not homogeneous (Levene's test) and was analyzed by Kruskal—Wallis test. Additionally, for the vegetation survey, arboreal and non—arboreal placements were grouped and compared with a Mann—Whitney U test. All analyses of significance were made at the p < 0.05 level. Statistical analyses other than FDR were performed using SPSS version 15.0 (SPSS, Inc., www.ibm.com). […]

Pipeline specifications

Software tools POPSICLE, SPSS
Applications Miscellaneous, Population genetic analysis
Organisms Wasmannia auropunctata