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Posted by: Mike Williams BSc (Hons) AIEEM on 17/01/2011

Lasius emarginatus (Olivier, 1792) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) confirmed as a British species [Update]

Matthew N. Smith Michael A. Williams

In June 2008 Ecosulis discovered the first known colony of the ant Lasius emarginatus in mainland Britain. Ecosulis were undertaking an aquatic invertebrate survey of Regent’s Canal, and noticed the ants on a wall beside the canal. Only two single individuals of this species had been recorded from mainland Britain prior to this find, and no nest was found on either occasion.

Specimens were checked against the relevant literature and the collection at the Natural History Museum, London in order to confirm the identity. The site was revisited in August 2008 and the nest was still present.  A thorough search of the surrounding area for further nests proved negative. A single specimen of the Nationally Scarce ant Ponera coartata was found during this search as well as several common species of ants. 

Lasius emarginatus is found in continental Europe and the Channel Islands. How it arrived in Britain in open to debate. At the time it was found, the nest appeared to be rather small and is likely to have been established in 2007 or 2008. The species is widespread on the Channel Islands and it will be interesting to see if it can do as well on the UK mainland.

The full text of this article can be found in:

Smith, M. N. & Williams, M. A. (2008) Lasius emarginatus (Olivier, 1792) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) confirmed as a British species. BWARS Newsletter Autumn 2008.

The nest was revisited in the summer of 2009 and was found to still be present. Approximately 80 worker ants were observed on the wall and on the towpath within 10 metres of the nest entrance, however no individuals were noted elsewhere along the towpath or in the local area. 


Categories: Ecological Consulting
Tags: Invertebrate survey | Lasius emarginatus | River Survey
3 comments » Comments
Mike Williams 16/01/2012 Dear Cesar I contacted the national recorder to confirm this and have not yet heard back from him. I certainly haven't heard of any more UK nests. The colonies you refer to sound to me like the superficially similar Lasius brunneus, which nests in rotting wood. When we found the L. emarginatus, we originally thought L. brunneus, but the absence of dead wood of any kind caused us to think again. Regards Mike
Cesar Wang 13/04/2011 Good afternoon, I would just like to inform your website that this species of ant (Lasius Emarginatus) is establishing well in the UK. I can prove this as in the South East of the UK (London, Richmond Park ) I have found and observed several colonies of this species. Most of the colonies that I had found were residing under rotting wood along soft, humid soil. I hope that this comment/message has been useful to your website. Regards, Cesar Wang.
Cesar Wang 13/04/2011 Good afternoon, I would just like to inform your website that the species ''Lasius Emarginatus'' are extending throughout the UK as I have observed them in the South East of the UK. This was in London, Richmond Park. There were several colonies, most colonies were residing under rotten wood. I hope that this comment/message has been useful to your website. Best regards, Cesar.
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Dear Cesar I contacted the

Dear Cesar

I contacted the national recorder to confirm this and have not yet heard back from him. I certainly haven't heard of any more UK nests. The colonies you refer to sound to me like the superficially similar Lasius brunneus, which nests in rotting wood. When we found the L. emarginatus, we originally thought L. brunneus, but the absence of dead wood of any kind caused us to think again.

Regards

Mike

Good afternoon, I would just

Good afternoon,

I would just like to inform your website that this species of ant (Lasius Emarginatus) is establishing well in the UK.

I can prove this as in the South East of the UK (London, Richmond Park ) I have found and observed several colonies of this species.

Most of the colonies that I had found were residing under rotting wood along soft, humid soil.

I hope that this comment/message has been useful to your website.

Regards,

Cesar Wang.

Good afternoon, I would just

Good afternoon,

I would just like to inform your website that the species ''Lasius Emarginatus'' are extending throughout the UK as I have observed them in the South East of the UK. This was in London, Richmond Park.

There were several colonies, most colonies were residing under rotten wood.

I hope that this comment/message has been useful to your website.

Best regards,

Cesar.

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