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Alberta Ants

James Glasier

The ant fauna of the province of Alberta is composed of 93 known species (and one subspecies), in three subfamilies and 16 genera. Alberta’s landscape is diverse, with boreal forest in the north, prairies in the south, the Rocky Mountains on the western border and the central region dominated by aspen parkland. The diversity of regions helps to promote the diversity of ant assemblages across the province.

Alberta’s ant diversity is dominated by the genus Formica, with 39 species. Other speciose genera include Camponotus, Myrmica and Lasius. In the south-eastern part of the province, which is vegetated by prairie, grassland genera such as Pogonomyrmex and Monomorium can be found. Furthermore, several rare endemic species are found in the Rocky Mountains such as Leptothorax faberi and Leptothorax athabasca.

Recent work has greatly improved our knowledge of Alberta ants, since previous studies were typically highly localized, not vouchered with specimens, or quite some time in the past. More work will most likely increase and expand our knowledge of Alberta’s ants.

James Glasier
Alberta Ant Curator