Lasius neglectus

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Lasius neglectus
Lasius neglectus casent0173143 profile 1.jpg
L. neglectus worker from Belgium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Genus: Lasius
Species: L. neglectus
Binomial name
Lasius neglectus
Van Loon, Boomsma & Andrásfalvy, 1990 [1]

Lasius neglectus is a polygynous, sometimes invasive, ant of the genus Lasius. The ant was identified in 1990 after establishing a colony in Budapest, Hungary.[2] Superficially, they are similar in appearance to the common black garden ant, Lasius niger, but have significantly different behavioural patterns, particularly in the social structure within colonies.[2]

Lasius neglectus is believed to be prey for several animals and insects, specifically Clytra laeviuscula and some Picidae family birds.[3]

Colonies[edit]

Lasius neglectus occupies 'super colonies', systems of interconnected nests with many queens, estimated to be over 35,500 in some colonies.[4] The queens, instead of moving to a new nest to start a new colony, will mate within the existing colony.[5] Unlike most ant species, queens mate underground and are incapable of flight. As the occupants of these colonies are related, they do not demonstrate territorial aggression.[5]

Lasius neglectus does not build elaborate nests, instead, the species usually nests under flat stones, in the topsoil under leaf litter and even in trash piles. In human habitats, L. neglectus tends to nest inside electrical devices.[6] Like other invasive ant species, L. neglectus relies on honeydew for its main food source and, but for a single instance in a grassland without trees in Tbilisi, known food sources come exclusively from insect prey and honeydew-producing insects on trees.[6]

As pests[edit]

Lasius neglectus can outnumber native European varieties of ant by 10 to 100 times in infested gardens and, as such, has been considered a pest in many central European countries.[7][8] The species has spread as far as Jena in Germany, Ghent in Belgium and Warsaw in Poland.[9] A colony has been reported in Gloucestershire in England, where it demonstrates an affinity for outdoor electrical fittings.[10]

Similar to many other invasive species, L. neglectus has so far only been found to infest disturbed urban habitats such as parks and gardens, where it eradicates most native ants and other insect populations while damaging trees because of the massive aphid cultures that it maintains. Whereas most other known pest ants require warm temperatures to thrive, L. neglectus can survive winters with extended frost periods, so that further dispersal into temperate climatic zones seems unavoidable. Asia Minor has been suggested as the most likely region of origin of L. neglectus as it co-occurs here with its non-invasive sister-species L. turcicus.[11]

The species has been proposed as a candidate to become a similar problem to the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile).[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lasius neglectus Van Loon, Boomsma & Andrásfalvy". Invasive ants. Landcare Research. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Richard Black (December 3, 2008). "Ant invader knocks on UK's door". BBC News. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  3. ^ Xavier Espadaler and Víctor Bernal (April 29, 2008). "Lasius neglectus – interactions". Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ X.Espadaler; S.Rey; V.Bernal (2004). "Queen number in a supercolony of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus". Insectes sociaux 51 (3): 232. 
  5. ^ a b Louise Gray (December 2, 2008). "Invasive foreign ant could be heading to Britain". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c Paris, C.; Espadaler, X. (2012). "Foraging Activity of Native Ants on Trees in Forest Fragments Colonized by the Invasive Ant Lasius neglectus". Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 2012: 1. doi:10.1155/2012/261316.  edit
  7. ^ Xavier Espadaler and Víctor Bernal (May 11, 2006). "Lasius neglectus – pest status". Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ James Randerson (December 3, 2008). "'Super ants' threaten UK gardens, scientists warn". The Guardian. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ Xavier Espadaler and Víctor Bernal (July 24, 2009). "Lasius neglectus – distribution". Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Power-Crazed Super Ants Invade England". Sky News. August 1, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  11. ^ Cremer, S.; Ugelvig, L. V.; Drijfhout, F. P.; Schlick-Steiner, B. C.; Steiner, F. M.; Seifert, B.; Hughes, D. P.; Schulz, A.; Petersen, K. S.; Konrad, H.; Stauffer, C.; Kiran, K.; Espadaler, X.; d'Ettorre, P.; Aktaç, N.; Eilenberg, J. R.; Jones, G. R.; Nash, D. R.; Pedersen, J. S.; Boomsma, J. J. (2008). "The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants". In Svensson, Erik I. PLoS ONE 3 (12): e3838. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003838. PMC 2585788. PMID 19050762.  edit
  • This article incorporates text from a scholarly publication published under a copyright license that allows anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials in any form for any purpose: Cremer, S.; Ugelvig, L. V.; Drijfhout, F. P.; Schlick-Steiner, B. C.; Steiner, F. M.; Seifert, B.; Hughes, D. P.; Schulz, A.; Petersen, K. S.; Konrad, H.; Stauffer, C.; Kiran, K.; Espadaler, X.; d'Ettorre, P.; Aktaç, N.; Eilenberg, J. R.; Jones, G. R.; Nash, D. R.; Pedersen, J. S.; Boomsma, J. J. (2008). "The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants". In Svensson, Erik I. PLoS ONE 3 (12): e3838. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003838. PMC 2585788. PMID 19050762.  edit Please check the source for the exact licensing terms.
  • This article incorporates text from a scholarly publication published under a copyright license that allows anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials in any form for any purpose: Paris, C.; Espadaler, X. (2012). "Foraging Activity of Native Ants on Trees in Forest Fragments Colonized by the Invasive Ant Lasius neglectus". Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 2012: 1. doi:10.1155/2012/261316.  edit Please check the source for the exact licensing terms.

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