Sunday, 20 April 2008

UK ant collections

The other day I had a request from Professor James K. Wetterer at Florida Atlantic University. He had seen the invasive species listed as present in The Gambia and wanted further details of those and others that I had collected.

This lead to two surprises. The first was that someone was paying attention and cared what I get up to. The second was the large number of invasive ants I have collected, despite few collection forays outside of the UK. It has, however, made me wonder if it's worth highlighting the other species that I have in my collection or have records for, in case they are of use to anyone.

I've decided to kick this off with the shortest and simplest list: the paltry fauna of the UK (I'm going to upset some British myrmecologists with this description, but it doesn't make it any less true). A complete list of the 67 native and regularly recorded introduced ants can be found in the checklist available on the BWARS website. The few species that I have in my collection are listed below.

          picea 1
          nitidulus 2
          albipes 3

1 Alate queen collected in Yorkshire. Despite a lot of searching no colonies have been located in the area.
2 Two males collected by David Baldock.
3 Present only as a rare introduction, these specimens from the Eden Project.

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