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Nest density and distribution of subterranean ants in an evergreen broadleaf forest in Japan with special reference to Amblyopone silvestrii


Keiichi Masuko, Biological Laboratory, Senshu University, 2-1-1 Higashimita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture 214-8580, Japan. Email:


The density and distributions of nests of the subterranean ants were studied by excavation of thirty 1-m2 quadrats in an evergreen broadleaf forest in central Japan. A total of 20 ant species were collected and the densities of Amblyopone silvestrii and Paratrechina flavipes were highest (both 0.83 nests/m2). The distribution patterns were analyzed by the Standardized Morisita Index (Ip) for the five species that had mean densities of more than 0.5 nests/m2. Of them, A. silvestrii and Hypoponera sauteri showed random distributions, while nests of Paratrechina flavipes were significantly overdispersed and those of Carebara yamatonis and Myrmecina nipponica were weakly clumped. These distributional patterns were discussed in connection with the ecology of the ants. In particular, the social organization of A. silvestrii was investigated based on the distributional pattern and the composition of collected colonies.