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Interpretation of postglacial recolonization of Formica aquilonia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Fennoscandia according to workers’ color variation

Gilev, A. V., Mershchiev, A. V., Malyshev, D. S.
Entomological revue 2015 v.95 no.8 pp. 941-946
Formica aquilonia, color, phenotype, small mammals, species dispersal, Russia, Scandinavia
The results of studying the color variation of the red wood ant F. aquilonia in Northwestern Russia and Fennoscandia are presented. Pronounced phenotypic differentiation among the ant populations was observed, which may be interpreted in the light of postglacial dispersal of the species. Ants from Karelia and the environs of Moscow showed high similarity in their color variation. The share of the light morph Pn3 increased in more northern localities, namely the Pasvik Reserve, and also in more western ones, namely St. Petersburg and Espoo. Thus, there were two vectors of ant dispersal: the northern and the western ones, coinciding with the known routes of postglacial recolonization by small mammals. Analysis of color variation is a very promising approach to the study of intraspecific structure and ways of its formation.