Gómez K., Martínez D., Espadaler X. (2018) Phylogeny of the ant genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Iberian Peninsula, with the description of a new species. Sociobiology. 65: 215-224.LinkDoi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v65i2.2099
A phylogenetic tree of the Iberian Aphaenogaster species - except for A. splendida (Roger) - and a key to the worker caste of all Iberian Aphaenogaster species are proposed. The position of A. striativentris Forel and A. cardenai Espadaler is discussed, stating the possibility that this second species may belong to a new, undescribed genus. Aphaenogaster ulibeli n. sp. is described from the Iberian Peninsula. Its closest relatives are A. gibbosa (Latreille) and A. striativentris. Its habitat seems to be restricted to caducifolia forests in the Western Central Massif. © 2018 Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana. All rights reserved.
Schär S., Talavera G., Espadaler X., Rana J.D., Andersen Andersen A., Cover S.P., Vila R. (2018) Do Holarctic ant species exist? Trans-Beringian dispersal and homoplasy in the Formicidae. Journal of Biogeography. 45: 1917-1928.LinkDoi: 10.1111/jbi.13380
Aim: Continents harbour unique faunas, and only a small percentage of species naturally inhabit more than a single continent. This pattern is most evident in the insects, a morphologically small and extremely diverse group. Nevertheless, 12 species of ants have traditionally been recognized as native to both North America and Eurasia, the Holarctic region. Since intercontinental dispersal is presumably rare in ants, allopatric speciation in the absence of gene flow can be expected over evolutionary time. Here, we reassess the existence of Holarctic ant species and reconstruct their biogeographical history. Location: The Holarctic. Taxon: All known ant species with purportedly Holarctic distributions. Methods: We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships, biogeographical history and reassessed the taxonomic status of all known ants with Holarctic distributions using genetic data based on one mitochondrial and three nuclear genes and an ancestral area reconstruction of 310 specimens and 73 species (the 12 Holarctic species plus outgroup taxa). Results: Contrary to the currently accepted hypothesis, only three ant species have Holarctic native ranges, while six taxa separate into distinct Palearctic and Nearctic species. Four species are shown to be recent introductions from Europe to North America by human activity, one of which was thought to be native. Genetic diversity is considerably higher within the North American than within European species as currently defined. Main conclusions: The Formicidae have repeatedly dispersed through Beringia, during and after land bridge formation, and in both directions between the Palearctic and Nearctic regions. However, only three cold-tolerant species crossed the Bering Strait in relatively recent time. Our results highlight the potential existence of many unknown Nearctic ant taxa. Reliance on an evolutionarily labile morphological character, erect hairs, seems to have obscured species delimitation in these ant taxa. Based on our investigation, the typical time for speciation in allopatry for ants is 2–5 Ma. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Barech, G., Khaldi, M., Espadaler, X. (2017) First Report of Lioponera longitarsus Mayr, 1879 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Algeria: An Exotic or a Rare Native Ant Species from North Africa?. African Entomology. 25: 428-434.LinkDoi: 10.4001/003.025.0428
Gómez, K., Espadaler, X., Santamaria, S. (2017) First record of an epizoic Laboulbenia (Fungi: Laboulbeniales) on ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Africa. Sociobiology. 64: 155-158.LinkDoi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v64i2.1532
Peral, G.T., Rutkowski, T., Wojtaszyn, G., Espadaler, X. (2017) Myrmicinosporidium durum in Poland: A new location for this fungal ant endoparasite and updated world distribution. Acta Parasitologica. 62: 875-879.LinkDoi: 10.1515/ap-2017-0106
Barech G., Khaldi M., Ziane S., Zedam A., Doumandji S., Sharaf M., Espadaler X. (2016) A First Checklist and Diversity of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Saline Dry Lake Chott El Hodna in Algeria, a Ramsar Conservation Wetland. African Entomology. 24: 143-152.LinkDoi: 10.4001/003.024.0143
In the first study of its kind, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were sampled near a unique natural environment, a large saline lake, Chott El Hodna, a Ramsar ConservationWetland in eastern Algeria. The species of ants were determined at two sites, Medbah and Birkraa in spring (March-April) 2011 using pitfall trapping and hand collecting.We provide a checklist and some observations on 24 species belonging to 14 genera and four subfamilies (Dolichoderinae, Dorylinae, Formicinae and Myrmicinae). To evaluate the ant diversity, we used data from pitfall traps for calculating ecological indexes. © Entomological Society of Southern Africa.
Campos, D., Bartumeus, F., Mendez, V., Andrade, J.S., Espadaler, X. (2016) Variability in individual activity bursts improves ant foraging success. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 13: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0856
Gómez, K., Espadaler, X., Santamaria, S. (2016) Ant-fungus interactons: Laboulbenia camponot batra in Italy and a new host for L. formicarum thaxter (Fungi: Ascomycota, laboulbeniales). Sociobiology. 63: 950-955.LinkDoi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v63i3.1057
Mestre L., Piñol J., Barrientos J.A., Espadaler X. (2016) Differential ant exclusion from canopies shows contrasting top-down effects on community structure. Oecologia. 180: 193-203.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s00442-015-3442-z
Predators have far-reaching effects on communities by triggering top-down trophic cascades that influence ecosystem functioning. Omnivory and intraguild interactions between predators give rise to reticulate food webs and may either strengthen or dampen trophic cascades depending on context. Disentangling the effects of multiple predator species is therefore crucial for predicting the influence of predators on community structure. We focused on ants as dominant generalist predators in arthropod communities and set up a differential ant exclusion from canopies to examine its effects on assemblage species composition and densities of five arthropod groups (psocopterans, aphids, spiders, heteropterans and beetles). We coupled a glue band with tubes allowing only the ant Lasius grandis to reach the canopies to isolate its effect from the rest of crawling predators (ants, earwigs) and compared it against a full exclusion and a control. L. grandis alone had widespread effects on assemblage species composition, with contrasting species-specific responses within groups, where some species affected by L. grandis presence were not further affected by the presence of the whole crawling predator assemblage, and vice versa. Overall, L. grandis caused two- to threefold decreases of generalist predators and a threefold increase of aphids. However, it lacked further top-down effects on primary consumers, which only emerged when all crawling predators were present. This differential exclusion demonstrates the distinctive and widespread intraguild effects on community structure of a single ant species that contrast with the top-down effects exerted by the whole crawling predator assemblage. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Romeu-Dalmau C., Espadaler X., Piñol J. (2016) Management implications of earwigs' overwintering sites in a Mediterranean citrus grove. International Journal of Pest Management. : 1-6.LinkDoi: 10.1080/09670874.2015.1129079
To promote earwigs as natural enemies of pests, or to control their populations if they damage crops, earwigs can be managed during their overwintering period on the ground. Here, we obtained more than a ton of soil to study earwigs' overwintering sites in a citrus grove. We found four species of earwigs: Forficula pubescens, Euborellia annulipes, Euborellia moesta, and Nala lividipes. Surprisingly, and although the European earwig Forficula auricularia is abundant in the citrus canopies the rest of the year, we did not find any F. auricularia, indicating that this species spends the winter outside the citrus grove. Therefore, farmers willing to manage European earwig populations in citrus orchards need to consider the possibility that earwigs may spend the winter outside the field. Earwigs that were overwintering in the citrus grove were more abundant at the south side beneath the canopies than at the north side or between rows, indicating that management practices such as soil tillage can impact overwintering earwigs only beneath the canopies, but not between citrus rows. Overall, our results provide insights into how earwig populations can be successfully managed during winter in citrus orchards. © 2016 Taylor & Francis
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