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Taxonomic confusion of two tramp ant species: Iridomyrmex anceps and Ochetellus glaber are really species complexes



Many invasive invertebrates belong to unresolved species complexes, and have a history of misidentification and inappropriate management. Here we detail confusion surrounding the taxonomy and identification of two dolichoderine ant species, Iridomyrmex anceps Roger and Ochetellus glaber Mayr, which are commonly cited in the literature as having been spread widely by human commerce. We provide morphometric data and images strongly suggesting that these two “species” are instead complexes of species that are likely native to many regions where they are purportedly introduced. We take particular interest in the status of species referred to as I. anceps and O. glaber in China, as this is the most northerly distribution of both genera. We conclude by suggesting that many identifications of both species are likely to be unreliable, and we recommend against any management action aimed at controlling these species under the assumption that they are exotic [Current Zoology 57 (5): 662–667, 2011]

Topics: Ant, Exotic, Invasive, Invertebrate, Management, Tramp ant, LCC:Zoology, LCC:QL1-991, LCC:Science, LCC:Q, DOAJ:Zoology, DOAJ:Biology, DOAJ:Biology and Life Sciences
Publisher: Current Zoology
Year: 2011
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