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Asian Myrmecology, Volume 4, pages 69-78, published December 2011

Worker ant community observed by repeated sampling and information on endemic Aneuretus simoni Emery in the Gilimale Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka

R.K.S. DIAS* and K.A.M. PERERA

Department of Zoology, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

DOI: 10.20362/am.004004

© R.K.S. Dias and K.A.M. Perera

Abstract: The ant community of Gilimale Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka is of special interest as a habitat of the island-endemic Aneuretus simoni. Ant community composition and aspects of A. simoni ecology in this forest were investigated using multiple sampling methods simultaneously, on six visits to Gilimale from February to December 2004. Daytime sampling of ants was carried out along ten 100 m transects by honey and canned-fish baiting, leaf litter and soil sifting, hand collection, pitfall trapping and mini-Winkler extraction. Honey baits at 1 m height on trees, and honey-baited pitfall traps on the ground, were set overnight. Air and soil temperature, depth of leaf litter and soil moisture during sampling were recorded on each occasion. Fifty species, in 38 genera, were recorded. Aneuretus simoni, Camponotus sp. 1, Carebara sp., Dolichoderus sp. 1, Leptogenys sp., Lophomyrmex quadrispinosus, Monomorium sp., Myrmicaria brunnea, Odontomachus simillimus, Paratrechina (sensu lato) sp., Pheidole sp. 2, Pheidole sp. 7, Pheidologeton sp., Polyrhachis sp., Solenopsis sp., Technomyrmex bicolor and Tetramorium bicarinatum were common and detected on all occasions. Detectability of A. simoni was consistently high and the species comprised 3–6 percent of worker ants collected on each of the six occasions.

Keywords: Aneuretus simoni Emery, Gilimale Forest Reserve, species richness, rare ants, multiple methods, repeated sampling

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