Diversity and distribution of introduced and potentially invasive ant species from the three main ecoregions of Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa)

Lombart M. Maurice Kouakou, Wouter Dekoninck, Mouhamadou Koné, Thibaut Delsinne, Kolo Yeo, Kaly Ouattara, Souleymane Konate


An important issue in biodiversity conservation is the early detection of introduced and invasive organisms and identification of regions that may either be points of introduction or be particularly prone to invasion. Among insects, ants are easily transported worldwide by humans, and several species, such as Solenopsis geminata or Pheidole megacephala, can be highly invasive. To establish an initial baseline for urban ant monitoring in Côte d’Ivoire (Western Africa), fifteen cities - equally distributed over the three main ecoregions of the country - were surveyed using tuna baits as sampling method. A total of 103 ant species from 22 genera and 5 subfamilies were collected. We identified 10 potentially invasive species, amongst them two new species for the country: Solenopsis geminata and Solenopsis globularia. Another highly invasive species, Paratrechina longicornis, was the most abundant species collected throughout the country. Potentially invasive ant species co-occurred with non-invasive species, and contributed importantly to the structure of ant assemblages of all sampled urban habitats. The present study provides evidence that introduced and invasive ant species are established in cities of Côte d’Ivoire, often in high numbers and are occurring over large areas of invasion.


biodiversity; invasive ants; ecoregions; urban habitats; Côte d’Ivoire

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26496/bjz.2018.19


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