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Asian Myrmecology, Volume 9, pages 1-12, online first (online version of paper published before print issue)

Geographic distribution of the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina

JAMES K. WETTERER

Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, Florida 33458 USA

Article first published online 14/February/2017

DOI: 10.20362/am.009004

Asian Myrmecology 9: e009004 (1-12)

© J. K. Wetterer

Abstract: Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are conspicuous arboreal ants, which build distinctive nests in trees. In many regions, people use weaver ants for food, medicine, and/or as biological control agents. There are two recognized species of weaver ants: Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille, 1802) in Africa and Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius, 1775) in Asia, Australia, and the Western Pacific. Here, I mapped the geographic distribution of O. smaragdina based on >2700 site records from 21 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. The vast majority of O. smaragdina records come from areas with Tropical (Group A) climates according to the Köppen-Geiger system: rainforest (Af), monsoon (Am), and savanna (Aw). However, >250 records come from areas classified on the map as having a Subtropical (Group C) climates, mostly in the Himalayan foothills of India and Nepal, southern China, northern Vietnam, and the southern coast of Queensland, Australia. Almost all these sites are classified as dry winter subtropical climate (Cwa). A few O. smaragdina sites are classified as having Arid (Group B) climates, all from warm semi-arid (BSh) areas. This range map based on site records corrects inaccuracies in earlier published range maps.

Keywords: biocontrol, biogeography, entomophagy, geographic range

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