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Currently, 173 species of ants from 8 subfamilies and 39 genera are known to occur in Georgia. Similar to other southeastern states, the most speciose genus in the state is Strumigenys, followed by Pheidole, Camponotus, Formica, and Aphaenogaster. Twenty alien species thought to have originated from a variety of regions including Central and South America, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia have been reported from the state. Of these, Solenopsis invicta (red imported fire ant), Linepithema humile (Argentine ant), and Brachymyrmex patagonicus (dark rover ant) are the among the most notorious pest species. Additionally, Pachycondyla chinensis (Asian needle ant) is becoming more widespread.
Georgia is home to a wide variety of physiographic regions including Atlantic Coast Flatlands, Southern Coastal Plains, Carolina and Georgia Sand Hills, Black Lands, Southern Piedmont, Southern Appalachian Ridges and Valleys, Sand Mountains, and the Blue Ridge. Within these numerous regions are many distinct habitats and microhabitats, which is reflected in the high diversity of ants found in the state. Based on species known from neighboring Florida and North Carolina, the species total from Georgia is likely to increase with more collecting.
Joe A. MacGown and Doug Booher
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