Geographic Spread of Solenopsis globularia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

James Kelly Wetterer

Abstract


            Several species of Solenopsis have spread beyond their native ranges and have become exotic pests, most notably Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius) and Solenopsis invicta Buren. Here, I examine the geographic spread of a smaller, less conspicuous Solenopsis species, Solenopsis globularia (Smith). I compiled S. globularia specimen records from >700 sites. I documented the earliest known S. globularia records for 59 geographic areas (countries, US states, and major West Indian islands), including many for which I found no previously published records: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Congo, Curaçao, Dominica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, St Martin, San Andrés Island, Senegal, Tobago, and Trinidad. Solenopsis globularia has a broad distribution in the New World, from Corrientes, Argentina (28.4°S) in the south to Craven County, North Carolina (35.1°N) in the north. Most S. globularia records came from islands. It is unclear whether S. globularia is native throughout its New World range. For example, it is possible that this species is exotic to the Galapagos Islands. All populations of S. globularia outside the New World are probably exotic, introduced through human commerce, including populations on Atlantic islands (Ascension, Cabo Verde, St Helena), Pacific islands (Hawaii, French Polynesia, Philippines), and Africa (Congo, Ivory Coast, Senegal). On the Cabo Verde islands, off the coast of West Africa, S. globularia is extremely widespread on all nine inhabited islands. Records from nine diverse sites in Ivory Coast indicates that S. globularia is well able to spread in continental Africa as well.


Keywords


biogeography, exotic range, geographic range, native range

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v66i2.4333

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