Cite this asAnusuyadevi P, Sevarkodiyone SP (2018) Diversity and Distribution of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nests in the Anjac Campus, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. Glob J Zool 3(1): 001-002. DOI: 10.17352/gjz.000009
The present communication deals with diversity and nesting habitat of ants in ANJAC, Campus, Sivakasi. In the present investigation, we identified ten species belonging to three subfamilies inside the campus. Richness and evenness were high in dry season while comparing to the wet season. In the study nature of nest, some ant’s nests were in the soil, some nests in cracks and concrete, while some nests on trees in this investigation.
Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are a conspicuous and important group of terrestrial arthropods [1,2]. They perform a variety of ecosystem services , invade novel habitats [4,5], form nomadic armies , and have been used as bioindicators of ecosystems . Ant colonies most strongly influence the environment immediately around nest entrances, through the cycling of soil, competitive exclusion, seed dispersal, and mutualisms with plant predators [1,8,9]. Ants are typically regarded as sessile organisms, rooted into their nests as plants are rooted into the ground [10,11].
This study was carried out at the Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College Campus (9.47° N, 77.75° E), Sivakasi, Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu.
Ants were surveyed in during the dry seasons (March-May, 2017) and rainy (October- December, 2017). The survey was carried out using pitfall traps and all- out search method. Visits have been around the campus, collections of specimens were done. Photos have been taken for the study of nature of nest. Some specimens have been collected from the nests preserved in 70 % ethyl alcohol. Ant specimens were identified to family, genus and species using the identification guide of Hölldobler and Wilson (1990) and Bolton (2002).
Ant species richness, mean abundance Shannon`s diversity index and evenness were calculated using the PAST program for Windows version 8.0.
Ant diversity on the campus of ANJA College, Sivakasi has been analyzed in this study. During this study, a total of 348 sampled specimens were captured. Totally ten species of ants belonging to five genera were recorded. Collected ants from college campus were mostly represented by three sub-families viz., Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Pseudomyrmicinae. These are as follows, the Myrmicinae were represented by four species and two genera. The Formicinae were represented by five species and two genera. The Pseudomyrmicinae represented by only one species and one genus. The most speciose genus of these three subfamilies was Camponotus with four species (Table 1).
The species diversity indices like Simpson’s Index of diversity (SID) and Shannon-Wiener index (H) in respect during different dry and wet seasons are presented in table 2. Relatively high diversity in species composition was noticed during October- December, 2017(SID = 0.103; H = 3.275) than during March – May (SID = 0.109; H = 3.248). The evenness (EH) values in respect of seasons, when compared, it became apparent that different species were abundant and occurred almost in similar during March – May ( EH=0.95) and October – December (EH=0.96) indicated that the species structure at both the seasons was also found overlapping.
Tetraponera rufonigra and Oecophylla smardina species build their nests in trees (arboreal nests). Monomorium minimum and Camponotus Sp1 prefer mostly crackers and concretes and other species prefer mostly soil for build their nests (Table 3). Soil forms the habitat for many microorganisms. It also forms the habitat and housing place for ants. Camponotus, Monomorium and Solenopsis construct their nest in the soil and concrete walls. Most of the nests are like the mound in nature. It is found genus Camponotus Mayr has made a raised mound like structure and diligently plaster and smoothens the surface by using their own salivary secretions, while some species of Camponotus Mayr has constructed a nest in garden Monomorium Mayr also have constructed a nest in the soil like tunnels, cones etc. .
When ants found a suitable environment, they get attracted toward that location avoiding disturbed area. They have exhibited well social behavior and caste system i.e. fertile female, the male and worker. They have lived in groups or colony within the nest. Some ants spend most of the time in nest. They also ensure the growth and survival of the colony. The nested form the safe place for maintaining the offspring and also for the storage of food  in some nest lot of chambers have been constructed for certain purpose like for brood eggs, larvae, pupae, food storage etc.,
We thank Management and Principal, Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College (Autonomous), Sivakasi for providing facilities to carry out this research work.
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