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Ants In Spain Tel: 952449591

Shows different types of ants in spain, a long read but interesting

Alicante is a medium-sized province (5,816.5 km2) located in the Valencian Community of eastern Spain. It is strongly influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, which means the ant diversity of most of the province is similar save for at a few elevated points, lakes, or artificially planted or irrigated zones. The largest mountains are part of the Baetic Cordillera, and include points such as Sierra de Aitana (1,558 m) or Puig Campana (1,410 m), which are a major source of ant species diversity. The big sandy dunes in Elche, the high mountain Balcón de Alicante, and several other sites form small ecosystems where it is possible to find meridional or almost endemic species not found in other close provinces. These include Camponotus from North Africa, Myrmica species from the north of Spain, and one Temnothorax from Alicante and Murcia.

At present, the number of ant species listed for Spain nears 80, representing 24 genera and 4 different subfamilies. This figure is double the number of ant species known just a decade ago. Spain’s territory is constantly being sampled, and some interesting species have turned up. Thse include the invasive Tapinoma melanocephalum or Temnothorax cristinae, encountered again after a lapse of almost 20 years. Other recorded species remain lost after their initial record, despite numerous organized expeditions.

The majority of the ants in Spain belong to the genus Camponotus (12 species), followed by Temnothorax (11), Aphaenogaster and Formica (5). Other common genera are Lasius, Pheidole, Plagiolepis, Tetramorium or Tapinoma.

All of the work to resurvey the Alicante region and identify ant species has been possible thanks to the help of mymecologist Xavier Espadaler. JA also would like to thank Chema Catarineu, to whom I am grateful for support and assistance with taxonomy, biology, and geographical comments.


 24 Genera from Ants of Spain