Arthropods of Rose Atoll with special reference to ants and Pulvinaria Urbicola Scales (Hempitera Coccidae) on Pisonia Grandis trees

Technical Report HCSU-057
By: , and 

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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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title Arthropods of Rose Atoll with special reference to ants and Pulvinaria Urbicola Scales (Hempitera Coccidae) on Pisonia Grandis trees
Series title Technical Report
Series number HCSU-057
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher University of Hawaii at Hilo
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description iii, 22 p.
Country United States
Other Geospatial Rose Atoll; America Samoa
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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