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Currently, 144 species of ants from 8 subfamilies and 37 genera are known to occur in South Carolina. This species list is based on literature records, personal communication with various ant researchers, and from specimens in the Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM)..
The most speciose genus in the state is Camponotus, followed by Formica, Strumigenys, and Aphaenogaster. Of these genera, the Strumigenys species are likely under represented.
Nineteen alien species have been reported from South Carolina. These species have their origins from a variety of regions including Central and South America, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Similar to other southeastern states, Solenopsis invicta (red imported fire ant) is a serious pest and has been reported from every county in the state. Another species, Pachycondyla chinensis (Asian needle ant) has also become a serious pest in recent years.
The five major Physiographic regions of South Carolina are the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Southeastern Plains, Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain, and Southern Coastal Plain. With such a drastic change from mountainous to seascape habitats, one would expect a high diversity of ant species. In bordering North Carolina and Georgia, many more species have been recorded. With additional targeted collections, the list of species from South Carolina is expected to increase and should be similar to those bordering states.
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