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Asian Myrmecology, Volume 5, pages 59-67, published March 2013

Frequency of nest occurrence and nest density of Aneuretus simoni Emery (Sri Lankan Relict Ant) and other ant fauna in an abandoned rubber plantation (Kirikanda Forest) in southwest Sri Lanka

R.K.S. DIAS*, H.P.G.R.C RUCHIRANI, K.R.K.A. KOSGAMAGE AND H.W.S. PEIRIS

Department of Zoology, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanca

DOI: 10.20362/am.005008

© R. K. S. Dias, H.P.G.R.C. Ruchirani, K.R.K.A. Kosgamage & H.A.W.S. Peiris

Abstract: Aneuretus simoni Emery, a critically endangered ant species endemic to Sri Lanka, was studied in Kirikanda Forest in Kalutara District. The nest occurrence and nest density of ant species was investigated using 240 quadrats (0.5 m x 0.5 m), in six 100 m2 plots, on 15 January, 5 May and 24 July 2010, and recording the number of ground nests belonging to any ant species within each quadrat. Fallen twigs and decaying wood pieces within each quadrat were also examined. Twenty-two ant species, belonging to 16 genera, were identified. The nest density of A. simoni observed on the three occasions was 0.15, 0.10 and 0.15 nests m-2 respectively, and the nest frequency was 3/80, 2/80 and 3/80 respectively. The current findings confirm that A. simoni is a resident species in Kirikanda Forest. Conservation practices should be implemented and encouraged in this forest to protect this species.

Keywords: Aneuretus simoni Emery, nest density, Aneuretinae, Formicidae, Sri Lankan Relict Ant

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