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Ants in Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Wilson County, Tennessee

JoVonn G. Hill and Joe A. MacGown, uploaded on 13 October 2011

            Cedars of Lebanon State Park is located approximately 30 miles east of Nashville and six miles south of Lebanon in the Central Basin physiographic region of Tennessee.  Most of the park is situated on Lebanon or Ridley limestone of Ordovician age.  Often this bedrock is close to the surface and results in unique plant communities.  Cedar glades, cedar forests, cedar-hardwood and hardwood forests, and several anthropogenically disturbed habitats are found in the park. The park itself is over 1,000 acres in size, and in conjunction with the adjacent Cedars of Lebanon State Forest comprises the largest remaining stand of Eastern Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana) in the United States.  Nineteen species of rare plants, which are mostly associated with cedar glades are found in the park.  Several caves and sinkholes, which were formed by water flowing through the soluble limestone bedrock, can be found in the park.  The park offers eight miles of hiking trails that pass through all the major habitats, a nature center, disk golf, an Olympic sized swimming pool, and a unique cedar lodge.
            The staff of the Mississippi Entomological Museum has made seven trips to sample insects of the Central Basin, typically using Cedars of Lebanon State Park as base of operations.  Two of these trips were W. H. Cross Collecting expeditions (1997 and 2009). The remainder of these trips took place during 28 April - 1 May, 2-5 June, 1-4 August, 7-10 September 2010 and 29-30 April 2011.  Collections of ants in the park have been not been extensive as most sampling efforts focused on nearby natural areas containing high quality cedar glades.  However, several species of note a have been found in the park including two new state records.  Thus far, a total of 32 species of ants have been collected in the park.

List of ant species collected (arranged alphabetically by genus). Habitats in which the species were found in follow the species name.  A= anthropogenic (campground, old fields, roadsides, etc.) CG = cedar glade, CF = cedar forest, CH = cedar hardwood forest, and HW = hardwood forest.

Aphaenogaster carolinensis Wheeler [A (developed campground) and C]
Aphaenogaster lamellidens Mayr [HW]
Aphaenogaster treatae Forel [CG]
Brachymyrmex depilis Emery [HW]
Camponotus americanus Mayr [CF and HW]
Camponotus nearcticus Emery [HW]
Crematogaster lineolata (Say) [CG, CF, and HW]
Crematogaster missuriensis Emery [A (developed campground)]
Forelius mccooki (McCook) [A (developed campground) and CG]
Formica subsericea Say [A (developed campground)]
Lasius sp? [CF]
Monomorium minimum (Buckley) [A (developed campground, lawns, old field, roadsides) and CF]
Myrmecina americana Emery[CF and HW]
Neivamyrmex nigrescens (Cresson) [A (lawn of cabin) and HW]
Nylanderia faisonensis (Forel) [A (developed campground) and CF]
Nylanderia vividula (Nylander) [CG]
Pheidole bicarinata Mayr [A (developed campground)]
Pheidole dentata Mayr [CG]
Pheidole pilifera (Roger) [CG]
Ponera exotica Smith [CF]
Ponera pennsylvanica Buckley [CF, HW]
Prenolepis imparis (Say) ([A (shaded Lawn)]
Solenopsis carolinensis Forel [CG, CF, and HW]
Stigmatomma pallipes (Haldeman) [HW].
Strumigenys louisianae Roger: [CF]
Strumigenys ornata Mayr [CF]
Strumigenys talpa Weber[CF]
Tapinoma sessile (Say)A (developed campground), [CG, and CF]
Temnothorax curvispinosus (Mayr) [CF and HW]
Temnothorax pergandei (Emery) [CG]
Temnothorax schaumii (Roger) [HW]
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis (McCook) [CG]


We thank Wayne "Buddy" Ingram and Roger McCoy for helping with the logistics studying the cedar glade insect fauna.