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Conference Abstract
Additions to the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Maltese Islands
expand article infoDavid Mifsud, Albena Lapeva-Gjonova§
‡ Institute of Earth Systems, Division of Rural Sciences and Food Technology, University of Malta, Msida MSD, Malta
§ Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Biology, Department of Zoology and Anthropology, Sofia, Bulgaria
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Abstract

The Maltese Islands are situated in the Central Mediterranean basin having a total land area of c. 316 km2. A diverse ant fauna is present in this archipelago, which is increasingly threatened by habitat degradation and invasion of alien species. The myrmecofauna of the archipelago has received considerable attention by researchers since 1893, bringing the total number to 59 species (Gómez 2017, Salata and Borowiec 2018), 11 of which are non-native. Confirmation of some already reported species, e.g. Messor structor (Latreille, 1798), Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander, 1856), Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus, 1758), is required in the light of recent taxonomic changes.

Based on a critical literature review, older unpublished data (1995–1997) by one of us (DM), and newly collected ant material (mainly between 2015 and 2019) we provide an updated list of 70 ant species from the Maltese Islands. The specimens were collected by different techniques (e.g. direct sampling, sifting, MSS-traps, Malaise traps). Two ant species were recorded for the first time in the Maltese Islands and for five species we provide the first verified records. Seven morphospecies with unspecified taxonomic status were also collected and require further studies.

Keywords

Malta, Mediterranean, insect fauna, new records, checklist

Presenting author

Albena Lapeva-Gjonova

Presented at

Vth International Congress on Biodiversity: „Taxonomy, Speciation and Euro-Mediterranean Biodiversity“

Acknowledgements

This study was partly funded by the Doctoral Studies Centre “St. Kliment Ohridski” (DocCent) (grant: BG05M2OP001-2.009-0013-C03).

References