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Response of an open-forest ant community to invasion by the introduced ant, Pheidole megacephala

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Vanderwoude, C., Lobry De Bruyn, L.A. and House, A.P.N. (2000) Response of an open-forest ant community to invasion by the introduced ant, Pheidole megacephala. Austral Ecology, 25 (3). pp. 253-259. ISSN 1442-9985

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1442-9993.2000.01021.x


The introduced tramp ant, Pheidole megacephala, is a well-known pest of urban areas and coastal dune ecosystems in eastern Australia. Until recently, establishment and spread of P. megacephala colonies has been regarded as likely only in disturbed areas. Here we describe the extent of an established colony of P. megacephala in a long undisturbed open forest near Maryborough in southeast Queensland and compare ant community structure with those of nearby uninfested sites. Tuna baiting revealed three distinct zones: (i) a zone totally dominated by P. megacephala (at least 10 ha) where few other ant ant species were detected; (ii) a zone where P. megacephala was absent and many other ant species were found; and (iii) a zone where opportunists (species of Ochetellus and Paratrechina) competed with P. megacephala at baits. Pitfall trapping over a 9-month period resulted in 12 species being recorded at the infested site, compared with a mean of 25 species recorded at adjoining uninfested forest. Over 94% of ants recorded in pitfalls at the infested site were P. megacephala. Most notably, P. megacephala had completely displaced dominant Dolichoderines (species of Iridomyrmex), subordinate Camponotini (species of Camponotus, Opisthopsis and Polyrhachis) and other species of Pheidole which are common at forest sites.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Live Archive:07 Jan 2024 22:31
Last Modified:07 Jan 2024 22:31

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