Journal article

High diversity of ants in Australian vineyards

Chee-Seng Chong, Linda J Thomson, Ary A Hoffmann



Ant diversity in Australia is exceptionally high compared to other regions of the world, with semiarid regions being the most species-rich. Ants perform numerous ecological functions and have been used in various biomonitoring programs. The role of ants in vineyards is unclear although other studies have focussed on controlling the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), which significantly promotes mealybug and scale insect densities. While ants have been surveyed in a range of habitats throughout the continent, little is known about the diversity of ants in Australian vineyards. In this study, 147 native ant species were identified with pitfall trapping from 50 vineyards distrib..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Michael Nash, David Sharley and Angelos Tsitsilas for field and laboratory assistance. Specimen verifications were generously provided by Alan Andersen (CSIRO) for Yarra Valley ants, Brian Heterick (Curtin University of Technology) for Monomorium ants, Simon Hinkley (Melbourne Museum) for all morphospecies, Archie McArthur (South Australia Museum) for Camponotus ants, and Steve Shattuck (CSIRO) for Iridomyrmex ants. We thank all managers for access to their vineyards. Jonathan Majer, Michael Nash and Stacy Philpott are thanked for providing useful suggestions for improvement. This research was supported by grants from Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.