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Psyche
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 571430, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/571430
Research Article

Geographic Spread of Gnamptogenys triangularis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ectatomminae)

1Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, MS 39762, USA
2Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA

Received 3 May 2011; Accepted 25 May 2011

Academic Editor: Fernando Fernández

Copyright © 2012 Joseph A. MacGown and James K. Wetterer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Gnamptogenys triangularis (Mayr), native to the forests of South and Central America, is a predatory ant that feeds on millipedes. In its native range, this species is known from Buenos Aires, Argentina (38.1°S) in the south to Costa Rica (10.4°N) in the north, with records from eight countries in South America (all except Chile, French Guiana, and Paraguay), and the two southernmost countries of Central America (Panama and Costa Rica). The first records of G. triangularis outside its native range came from Florida beginning in 1985 (six sites: 25.5°–30.4°N) and Alabama in 1996 (one site: 30.4°N). Here we present the first records of G. triangularis from Mississippi, dating from 2002–2010 (five sites: 30.5°–31.2°N). Based on its South American range, it appears that G. triangularis has the potential to spread to forests throughout much of the southeastern USA. There are no documented impacts of G. triangularis, and it seems unlikely that this species will ever become a major pest.