Effects of red imported fire ants on newly-hatched northern bobwhite Academic Article uri icon


  • We examined the response of pen-raised northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) to the presence of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) during the first 6 days post hatching in a 9 week field experiment during spring and summer 1993 in southeastern Texas. We recorded behavior of a focal animal continuously for 15 minutes in a 30-m2area from which fire ants had been removed and in a similar, adjacent area with natural densities of fire ants. We categorized activities of a focal animal as: response to fire ants, moving, inactivity, sleeping, and pecking at food. Red imported fire ants altered daily activity budgets of pen raised northern bobwhite chicks. Time spent responding directly to fire ants affected the allotment of time to other behaviors such as moving, sleeping, and pecking at food. The effects on chick behavior varied seasonally, in relation to ant activity, and age of the chick. Ant activity and age of the chick also influenced allotment of time to all activities, including response to fire ants.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Pedersen, E. K., Grant, W. E., & Longnecker, M. T.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Pedersen, EK||Grant, WE||Longnecker, MT

publication date

  • January 1996