Ants at the Santa Rosa Plateau

by Tina Smith

This list was compiled from an initial survey of the Reserve in the year 2000, and from detailed trapping from September 2002 to June 2003. A total of 2340 pitfall traps were set. 2160 of these traps set in oak woodland/grassland habitat and 2145 traps recovered. 180 traps were set in the chaparral site, with 178 recovered. The missing traps were due to coyote and gopher activities.

#Scientific NameNotes
1Camponotus anthrax 
2Camponotus hyatti 
3Camponotus sp. undescribed subgenus
4Camponotus vicinus 
5Cardiocondyla ectopiaintroduced
6Crematogaster californica 
7Crematogaster coarctata 
8Dorymyrmex bicolor 
9Dorymyrmex insana 
10Forelius mccooki 
11Formica moki 
12Hypoponera opaciorrecord from singleton male
13Linepithema humilerecord from singleton male
14Liometopum occidentale 
15Messor andrei 
16Messor stoddardi 
17Monomorium ergatogyna 
18Myrmecina americana 
19Myrmecocystus flaviceps 
20Myrmecocystus mimicus 
21Myrmecocystus testaceus 
22Myrmecocystus wheeleri 
23Neivamyrmex californicus 
24Neivamyrmex nigrescens 
25Neivamyrmex opacithorax 
26Paratrechina vividulaintroduced
27Pheidole californica 
28Pheidole hyatti 
29Pheidole sp.undescribed species
30Pheidole vistana 
31Pognomyrmex rugosus 
32Pogonomyrmex californicus 
33Pogonomyrmex subnitidus 
34Prenolepis imparis 
35Pseudomyrmex apache 
36Solenopsis aurea 
37Solenopsis maniosaalso known as Solenopsis xyloni
38Solenopsis sp. molesta complex 
39Stenamma diecki 
40Stenamma punctatoventre 
41Tapinoma sessile 
42Temnothorax andrei 

In addition, in April of 2001, I found a colony of red imported fire ants (RIFA), Solenopsis wagneri, several meters from the reserve boundaries in newly-planted landscaping. The RIFA colony was reported to, and eradicated by, the California Department of Food and Agriculture. No RIFA were observed in post-treatment inspections of this site.

It is noteworthy that only a single individual Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, was found. In urbanized and agricultural settings Argentine ants are now the dominant ant species, with few native-ant species coexisting in the areas dominated by this species. In most undisturbed natural areas, ant communities are free of non-native ant species. With the development now occurring next to the Reserve, it will be interesting to see if Argentine ants become more numerous in the future.

Go to Field Guide to the Santa Rosa Plateau

Copyright © 2005 by Tina Smith.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester, who will pass the comments on to Tina.
Updated 19 October 2005