Necrophilous Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Diverse Habitats in Taiwan

Chi-Man Leong, Matan Shelomi, Chung-Chi Lin, Shiuh-Feng Shiao

Abstract


Ants are a highly diverse group that not only are often strongly associated with certain habitat types, but also can be found on carcasses and, therefore, in crime scenes. In the present study, a survey of the necrophilous ants in Taiwan was conducted and a preliminary species checklist was provided for the first time. The aim of this study was primarily to offer information on Taiwanese ant species of forensic significance. A total of 50 ant species/morphospecies from 26 genera were collected from large scale regions in Taiwan using combination pig liver bait and pitfall traps, bringing the Taiwanese necrophilous ants up to 55 species from 33 genera within the known Taiwanese ant fauna of 288 species from 71 genera. Seventeen species found in this study are tramp or potentially exotic species, which often dominated the baits. Use of pitfall traps increased the diversity of ants collected relative to hand-collecting from the carcass, adding useful data. These necrophilous ants may play important roles in carcass decomposition and can be useful in reconstructing crime scenes, as certain ants are more common in certain habitat types. This checklist and accompanying habitat information of these ants is likely the first such comprehensive data in Taiwan applying ants to the field of forensic entomology.

Keywords


Forensic entomology, ants, checklist, decomposition.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v66i2.3491

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