Uzbekistan — the alleged native range of the invasive ant Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): geographical, ecological and biological evidences
Invasive ant species Lasius neglectus is widespread from Canary Islands to Central Asia, inhabiting almost exclusively anthropogenic habitats (cities, towns, villages), but its native area has remained unknown untill now. We recently found numerous populations of this species in Uzbekistan, where it lives in the natural habitats throughout the country except for arid zones — the Kyzylkum desert and the Ustyurt plateau. Lasius neglectus inhabits here mesophytic, moderately humidified biotopes at the altitudes from 91 to 1982 m a. s. l., but is also common in urban areas. Colonies of L. neglectus in the natural habitats are polygynous, but monocalic, it has the true nuptial flight, its workers are aggressive toward conspecifi c workers from other nests. Based on obtained data we assumed that the native range of L. neglectus is Central Asia (particularly, Uzbekistan).
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