Short Note

Ants (Hymenoptera Formicidae) and the food industry: observations in factory premises in central Italy


Abstract


Research on ants (Hymenoptera Formicidae) in a food factory in the province of Latina (Lazio, central Italy) was carried out over several years up to 2013. The investigation started during the 1990s, and was conducted principally by examining specimens caught in light traps placed indoors on the factory premises. A smaller number of ants was collected directly during periodical inspections. The present work focuses on the observations made on specimens collected during 2007 and 2008 using light traps. Besides some ant genera and species which are well known as being typical pests of the food industry, some other more unusual and sporadic species were found. Among these latter, females of the ponerine ant Hypoponera punctatissima were sometimes collected in dozens or hundreds during single weeks of sampling using light traps. Many specimens of Pheidole pallidula (males, females, workers and soldiers) and Lasius spp. (males) were also collected using traps. H. eduardi, Cremastogaster scutellaris, Solenopsis fugax and Linepithema humile were scarce or extremely scarce in the traps, as were species of Myrmica, Aphaenogaster, Messor, Tetramorium, and Camponotus. The causes of their presence in the food factory may differ according to genera and species, and deserve to be studied in depth.


Keywords

monitoring; light traps; Hypoponera; Pheidole; Lasius

Full Text:

PDF