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Title: Ants of the Philadelphia, PA, area.

This great resource is apparently homeless, so I have added it to the BDWA. It was previously located at but that server is gone or down as of 22 of September 2005.
- D. S. K.

Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

by Thomas G. King (1) and Stanley A. Green (2)

Despite the numerous notable entomologists that have lived in Philadelphia, there was no list of the ants found in Philadelphia. In the spring, summer, and fall of 1993, we collected specimens representing fifty-one species as a preliminary inventory of the ants of Philadelphia.

In collecting the species we employed: 1) pitfall traps (one ounce with nontoxic antifreeze); 2) random sampling of ground foragers; 3) thorough searches for species found under rocks; 4) thorough searches for species found in decaying wood; and 5) examination of specimens collected in buildings (courtesy of local exterminators). This study collection is preliminary, as we did not use Bernese funnels (and many leaf litter species are underrepresented.)

Our field collections included two locations in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, the entire John Heinz National Wildlife Preserve, a large field by the Northest Philadelphia airport, and a mature forest (not a park) in the Northeast section of the city. These locations represented elevations from 0 feet to 250 feet, various soil types (from sandy loam to almost pure clay), and habitats from hydric to extremely dry mesic (from inclined soil or low/absent vegetation, either naturally or from disturbance).

Philadelphia itself receives approximately one meter of rainfall per year, and has temperatures that typically vary from -10 C to 35 C. Philadelphia is located on the North American Atlantic Coast, on the border of the coastal plain and the piedmont at the 40th parallel.

All specimens were deposited in the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. We thank Stefan Cover of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, for identifying most of the specimens and providing invaluable advice and support.

A review of collection sites:

A) John Heinz Nature Preserve, Philadelphia. A wetland almost at sea level, which produces many hydric habitats. Occasional mesic habitats (forested and unforested).
B) Fairmont Park: Morris Park, Philadelphia. Offers a range of elevations from 0 to 200 feet, and hydric to mesic habitats. Mostly forested.
C) Fairmont Park: Pennypack Park, Philadelphia. Offers a range of elevations from 0 to 100 feet, and hydric to mesic habitats. Mostly forested. A frequently disturbed habitat.
D) NE Philadelphia Airport, Philadlphia. Elevation approximately 100 feet. A large open field dominated by Phragmite. Adjacent to the field is a small hydric to mesic forest.
E) Ashton Road Forest, Philadelphia. Private land with trees of considerable age. Elevation approximately 150 feet. Mesic.

Species Collected and Notes:

Linepithema humile -- in a house. exotic.
Tapinoma sessile -- not common but present in all habitats. usually occupies recently or continually disturbed habitats.

Acanthomyops claviger -- under rocks in shady areas. common.
Acanthomyops interjectus -- under rocks on shady areas. common.
Brachymyrmex depilis -- in sunny and shady habitats. not common.
Camponotus castaneus -- only one collection. under a rock in the Ashton Road forest.
Camponotus chromaiodes -- usually in wood touching the soil. common. (= C. ferrugineus.)
Camponotus nearcticus -- in preformed wood cavities. not common.
Camponotus novoboracensis -- in decaying wood. not common.
Camponotus pennsylvanicus -- in decaying wood. common.
Camponotus subbarbatus -- in preformed cavities. common.
Formica pallidefulva -- in sunny fields. common.
Formica nitidiventris -- in sunny fields. common.
Formica subsericea -- in shady areas or clearings in forest. not common.
Lasius alienus -- in shady regions. very common.
Lasius flavus -- under rocks in shady regions.
Lasius nearcticus -- under rocks in shady regions.
Lasius neoniger -- in sunny fields. very common.
Paratrechina flavipes -- in shady habitats. rare. exotic?
Paratrechina faisonensis -- in shady but disturbed habitats. rare. displaced by flavipes?
Paratrechina longicornis -- around the Temple U. and U. Pennsylvania campuses. exotic.
Prenolepis imparis -- in shady habitats. active in early spring and late fall. common.

Aphaenogaster fulva -- in shady, established forests. often in decaying wood. uncommon.
Aphaenogaster rudis -- far more flexible than fulva. often in fields with high grass as well as forest. fairly common.
Crematogaster cerasi -- large colonies usually in wood. uncommon.
Crematogaster lineolata -- smaller colonies usually in wood, under rocks, and in high grass. uncommon.
Temnothorax curvispinosus -- in preformed cavities in shady regions (with some sunlight). common.
Temnothorax longispinosus -- in shadier regions than curvispinosus. in preformed cavities. common.
Temnothorax schaumi -- in trees of John Heinz Nature Preserve. uncommon.
Monomorium emarginatum -- in sunny, xeric areas. very common.
Monomorium pharaonis -- in houses. at the zoo will forage outside in summer. exotic.
Myrmecina americana -- in shady forests usually under rocks. uncommon.
Myrmica americana -- in open fields usually with higher grass than typical lawns. common.
Myrmica pinetorum -- in wet forest floors. uncommon.
Myrmica punctiventris -- in mesic forest floors. common.
Pheidole pilifera -- in open, sunny fields. uncommon.
Pheidole tysoni -- in open, sunny fields. uncommon.
Pheidole bicarinata -- in open, sunny fields. uncommon.
Pyramica clypeata -- under rocks in shady areas.
Pyramica rostrata -- in decaying wood in shady areas.
Solenopsis molesta -- in moist open fields. common.
Stenamma brevicorne -- in shady forest floors. uncommon.
Stenamma diecki -- in leaf litter of forest floors. uncommon.
Stenamma impar -- in leaf litter of forest floors. uncommon.
Stenamma schmitti -- in leaf litter of forest floors. uncommon.
Tetramorium caespitum --in open, sunny areas. very common. probably exotic.
Vollenhovia emeryi -- in highly hydric regions near rivers (both type 1 and 2). rare. exotic.

Amblyopone pallipes -- under rocks in shady forests. uncommon.
Ponera pennsylvanicus -- in leaf litter, in open fields, under rocks. very flexible. very common.
Proceratium pergandei -- under rocks in shady regions. rare.
Proceratium silaceum -- under rocks in shady regions. rare.

If this page interests you, enjoy the following site: Discover Life's Ant Resources and Links

For a graphical on-line taxonomic key to the above ant species, visit: Interactively Identify the Above Species

Some people to thank for the useful and fun links above...

Contact Information For Ants of Philadelphia Page:
(1) 207 North Oxford Valley Road, Fairless Hills, PA.
(2) Pennsylvania State University

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