Attack of the invasive garden ant: aggression behaviour of Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against native Lasius species in Spain Journal Article


Author(s): Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V; Lommen, Suzanne T; Petersen, Klaus S; Pedersen, Jes S
Article Title: Attack of the invasive garden ant: aggression behaviour of Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against native Lasius species in Spain
Affiliation
Abstract: Invasive species often dramatically change native species communities by directly and indirectly out-competing native species. We studied the direct interference abilities of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus VAN LOON, BOOMSMA & ANDRÁSFALVY, 1990, by performing one-to-one aggression tests of L. neglectus workers towards three native Lasius ant species that occur at the edge of a L. neglectus supercolony in Seva, Spain. Our results show that L. neglectus is highly aggressive against all three native Lasius species tested (L. grandis FOREL, 1909, L. emarginatus (OLIVIER, 1792), and L. cinereus SEIFERT, 1992), expressed as a higher attack rate of L. neglectus and behavioural dominance throughout the aggressive encounters. Attacks of L. neglectus were performed fastest and most frequent against L. grandis, and also the highest antennation frequencies were observed in encounters between these two species. This could be due to the largest difference in body size, or due to a greater overlap in ecological niche between L. neglectus and L. grandis compared to the other two native species. There was only weak support for L. neglectus workers from the periphery of the supercolony to be more aggressive relative to workers from the centre, even though the former encounter native ant species on a daily basis at the edge of the supercolony.
Keywords: Lasius neglectus; interference; interspecific competition; invasive ants; aggression behaviour; ecological dominance
Journal Title: Myrmecological News
Volume: 9
ISSN: 1994-4136
Publisher: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Entomofaunistik  
Date Published: 2006-12-01
Start Page: 13
End Page: 19
Open access: no