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Geographic Distribution of the African Weaver Ant, Oecophylla longinoda

Author:
Wetterer, James K
Source:
Transactions of the American Entomological Society 2017 v.143 no.2 pp. 501-510
ISSN:
0002-8320
Subject:
Oecophylla longinoda, biological control agents, geographical distribution, humid tropics, leaves, medicine, monsoon season, nests, pests, prediction, rain forests, savannas, trees, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Abstract:
African weaver ants, Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille, 1802), are conspicuous arboreal ants, well known in the humid tropics of Africa. Weaver ants build large distinctive nest structures in trees by binding together clusters of leaves using a silk-like substance. Although many regard weaver ants as pests due to their bite, local people also use weaver ants for food, medicine, and as biological control agents. Here, I mapped the geographic distribution of O. longinoda based on >500 site records from 34 countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The documented range of O. longinoda is confined almost entirely within areas with Tropical (Group A) climates as defined by the Köppen-Geiger system: rainforest (Af), monsoon (Am), and savanna (Aw). This range map based on site records corrects inaccuracies in earlier published range maps, and allows prediction of areas where O. longinoda might be expected to occur, but it has not yet been reported.
Agid:
5947340