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Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Tombigbee National Forest, Choctaw and Winston Counties, Mississippi

by Joe A. MacGown

            A survey of Formicidae in the Tombigbee National Forest (Ackerman Unit) in Winston and Choctaw Counties, Mississippi was conducted by Joe MacGown for the Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM).  Collections were made with pitfall traps from 15 March 1999 to 6 March 2000 and with other collecting methods on various dates from the spring of 2002 through the fall of 2004.  As a result of this survey a total of 72 species representing 27 genera and 7 subfamilies were reported from the Tombigbee National Forest.  Thirteen of the species collected in the National Forest represented new state records for Mississippi and included Camponotus subbarbatus Emery, Formica dolosa Buren, Polyergus lucidus longicornis Smith, Ponera exotica Smith, Discothyrea testacea Roger (a new genus and species for Mississippi), Strumigenys metazytes (Bolton) , S. ohioensis Kennedy & Schramm, S. reflexa Wesson & Wesson, S. talpa Weber, Stenamma impar Forel ( identified as Stenamma meridionale Smith in publications), Myrmica punctiventris Roger, Pheidole tetra Creighton, and Temnothorax tuscaloosae Wilson. Two other species, Strumigenys angulata (M. R. Smith) and Aphaenogaster mariae Forel, are rarely collected species in North America, but were found to be common in the Tombigbee N. F.  Specimens collected during this survey were deposited in the Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM).

            The results of this survey were published in the Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society (MacGown and Brown, 2006a). Two other publications directly resulted from the work done in the Tombigbee National Forest. One of these papers documented high diversity of ants coexisting with imported fire ants at a small scale (MacGown and Brown 2006b), and the other paper was about ants that nest in hickory nuts (MacGown 2006). Additionally the information garnered from this survey helped contribute to other papers including a taxonomic treatment of the Formica pallidefulva group (Trager et al. 2007), the carpenter ants of Mississippi (MacGown et al. 2007), and the Pyramica species of Mississippi (MacGown et al 2005). Information from the survey also will be used as part of a larger treatment of the ants of Mississippi that is being prepared. For identification, please go to the "Identification Keys" page and follow the instructions.

Formicidae of Tombigbee National Forest (arranged alphabetically by genus)

Aphaenogaster sp. cf. carolinensis Wheeler
Aphaenogaster fulva Roger
Aphaenogaster lamellidens Mayr
Aphaenogaster mariae Forel
Aphaenogaster treatae Forel
Brachymyrmex depilis Emery 
Camponotus americanus Mayr 
Camponotus castaneus (Latreille)
Camponotus chromaiodes Bolton 
Camponotus decipiens Emery
Camponotus discolor (Buckley)
Camponotus nearcticus Emery
Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer)
Camponotus snellingi Bolton
Camponotus subbarbatus Emery
Colobopsis impressa Roger
Crematogaster ashmeadi Mayr
Crematogaster lineolata (Say)
Crematogaster minutissima Mayr
Crematogaster pilosa Emery
Cryptopone gilva (Roger)
Discothyrea testacea Roger
Forelius mccooki (McCook) 
Formica dolosa Buren
Formica pallidefulva Latreille
Formica subsericea Say
Hypoponera opaciceps (Mayr)
Hypoponera opacior (Forel)
Lasius alienus (Foerster)
Monomorium minimum (Buckley)
Myrmecina americana Emery
Myrmica punctiventris Roger
Nylanderia arenivaga (Wheeler) 
Nylanderia faisonensis (Forel)
Nylanderia parvula (Mayr) 
Nylanderia vividula (Nylander) 
Pheidole bicarinata Mayr
Pheidole dentata Mayr
Pheidole dentigula Smith
Pheidole metallescens Emery
Pheidole tetra Creighton
Pheidole tysoni Forel
Polyergus lucidus longicornis Smith
Ponera exotica Smith
Ponera pennsylvanica Buckley
Prenolepis imparis (Say) 
Proceratium croceum (Roger)
Proceratium pergandei (Emery)
Proceratium silaceum Roger
Pseudomyrmex pallidus (Smith)
Solenopsis invicta X richteri
Solenopsis carolinensis
Stenamma foveolocephalum Smith
Stenamma impar Forel [formerly identified as Stenamma meridionale Smith]
Stigmatomma pallipes (Haldeman)
Strumigenys angulata Smith
Strumigenys clypeata Roger
Strumigenys creightoni Smith
Strumigenys dietrichi Smith
Strumigenys metazytes (Bolton)
Strumigenys ohioensis (Kennedy and Schramm)
Strumigenys ornata Mayr
Strumigenys pulchella Emery
Strumigenys reflexa (Wesson and Wesson)
Strumigenys rostrata Emery
Strumigenys talpa Weber Strumigenys louisianae Roger
Temnothorax curvispinosus (Mayr)
Temnothorax pergandei (Emery)
Temnothorax schaumii (Roger)
Temnothorax tuscaloosae Wilson
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis (McCook)

Publications that have resulted from the ant survey done in the Tombigbee National Forest

MacGown, J. A., R. L. Brown, and J. G. Hill. 2005.  An annotated list of the Pyramica (Hymenoptera:  Formicidae:  Dacetini) of Mississippi.  Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society.  78: 285–289. [pdf]

MacGown, J. A. and  R. L. Brown.  2006a. Survey of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Tombigbee National Forest in Mississippi.  Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society.  79: 325-340 [pdf].

MacGown, J. A. and  R. L. Brown. 2006b. Observations on high diversity of native ant species coexisting with imported fire ants at a microspatial scale in Mississippi. Southeastern Naturalist 5: 573-586. [pdf]

MacGown, J. A. 2006. Hickory Nuts used as nesting sites by ants (Hymenoptera:  Formicidae). Marginalia Insecta 1: 1. (12 October 2006). [full text] [pdf]

MacGown, J. A., R. L. Brown, J. G. Hill, and B. Layton. 2007. Carpenter Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Camponotus) of Mississippi. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 1158: 28 pp. [pdf]

Trager, J. C., J. A. MacGown and M. D. Trager. 2007. Revision of the Nearctic endemic Formica pallidefulva group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). In: Snelling, R. R., P. S. Ward, and B. L. Fisher (editors), Advances in ant systematics. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80: 610-636. [pdf]