Journal of the Entomological Research Society, Vol 19, No 2 (2017)

Diversity and Nesting Preferences of Camponotus lateralis Group Species on Western Balkan Peninsula (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Adi Vesnic, Rifat Škrijelj, Sadbera Trožić-Borovac, Željko Tomanović

Abstract


On western Balkan Peninsula Camponotus lateralis group Emery, 1925 is represented by three species: Camponotus lateralis (Olivier, 1791), C. piceus (Leach, 1825) and C. dalmaticus (Nylander, 1849). Camponotus lateralis group is founded by ecologically subordinated ants that are dominantly adapted to habitats in Mediterranean region. In contrast to Camponotus lateralis and C. dalmaticus, C. piceus is also found in the Dinaric region on open hot meadows. In microhabitat level, Camponotus piceus is building colonies in ground and open thermophilic Mediterranean and Dinaric grassland habitats. Camponotus lateralis and C. dalmaticus are associated with woodland and shrub land habitats in the Mediterranean region. Camponotus lateralis construct colonies in dry wood, however 11% of colony findings were under stone. Similar to Camponotus lateralis, Camponotus dalmaticus build nests in rotten wood parts, roots and tree trunks that were underground. Collected field data indicate that overlap in colony construction niche between analysed species is low due to different habitat and nesting site preferences.


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