Authors: STANISLAV STUKALYUK, ALEXEY GILEV, IGOR ANTONOV, MAKSYM NETSVETOV
Abstract: Studying four species of red wood ants (Formica rufa, F. polyctena, F. aquilonia, F. lugubris), we examined nest morphometrics (height and diameter of anthills), spatial parameters (location of anthills of different sizes relative to each other), and the number of trails per colony in three regions of Ukraine and Russia: Kyiv region (877 anthills), the Urals (274 anthills) and Cis-Baikal (72 anthills). We have established a relationship between the number of anthills in the nest complex and the maximum parameters of the average height and diameter, as well as the average number of trails. Under optimal conditions, the infrastructure of the forage area of red wood ants becomes more complex - an increase in the average number of trails. We have shown that the morphometric parameters of anthills differ significantly in four species of red wood ants. In addition, it was confirmed that single anthills are on average smaller than colonial ones and have, on average, fewer trails per anthill. There is a pronounced spatial aggregation between the anthills of red wood ants of the same species (F. rufa, F. polyctena, Kyiv population) of all size classes.
Keywords: Red wood ants, nest complexes, single anthills, infrastructure, size classes
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