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Ants of Tonga

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Title: Ants of Tonga
Authors: Wetterer, James K.
Issue Date: Apr 2002
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Wetterer JK. 2002. Ants of Tonga. Pac Sci 56(2): 125-135.
Abstract: This paper presents combined published, unpublished, and new ant
records from 17 islands of Tonga representing all four island groups: Tongatapu
(Tongatapu, 'Eua, 'Onevai, Pangaimotu), Ha'apai (Lifuka, Kao, Tofua, 'Uonukahahake,
Nomuka, Nomuka-iki, Mango, Telekitonga), Vava'u (Vava'u, Nuapapu,
Kapa), and the Niuas (Niuatoputapu, Niuafo'ou). These records increase
the list of ants known from Tonga to 53 species. Ten species, including six undescribed
species, are local endemics found only in Tonga or only in Tonga and
Samoa: Adelomyrmex sp., Camponotus conicus, Camponotus nigrifrons, Hypoponera
sp., Monomorium sp., Ochetellus sp., Pheidole sp., Pristomyrmex sp., Strumigenys
zakharovi, and Vollenhovia samoensis. Another 21 species are broadly distributed
Pacific natives: Anochetus graeffei, Camponotus chloroticus, Hypoponera confinis,
Monomorium liliuokalanii, Monomorium talpa, Odontomachus simillimus, Oligomyrmex
atomus, Pheidole oceanica, Pheidole sexspinosa, Pheidole umbonata, Ponera
incerta, Ponera tenuis, Pyramica dubia, Rogeria stigmatica, Solenopsis papuana, Strumigenys
godeffroyi, Tapinoma minutum, Technomyrmex albipes, Tetramorium insolens,
Tetramorium pacificum, and Tetramorium tonganum. Finally, 22 species are
not native to the Pacific region, but were brought to the region by human commerce:
Anoplolepis gracilipes, Cardiocondyla emeryi, Cardiocondyla nuda, Hypoponera
opaciceps, Hypoponera punetatissima, Monomorium floricola, Monomorium pharaonis,
Monomorium sechellense, Paratrechina bourbonica, Paratrechina longicornis, Paratrechina
vaga, Pheidole fervens, Pheidole megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi, Pyramica
membranifera, Solenopsis geminata, Strumigenys emmae, Strumigenys rogeri, Tapinoma
melanocephalum, Tetramorium bicarinatum, Tetramorium lanuginosum, and
Tetramorium simillimum. The number of ant species now known from Tonga is
much as would be expected based on the species-area relationship for the
neighboring island groups of Fiji, Wallis and Futuna, and Samoa. Differences in
ant species richness among these island groups is primarily due to a greater
number of local endemics in the island groups with greater land area.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 56, Number 2, 2002

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