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Country: French Polynesia

Subfamilies: 4
Genera: 27
Species/Subspecies: 54
  Endemic: 3
  Introduced: 34
Imaged Specimens: 25

Thibault Ramage


By its situation, in the very center of the south Pacific and with the nearest continent to 6000 km, the ant fauna of French Polynesia is relatively poor. 51 ant species are known for this country and like the ant fauna of most of the islands of the south Pacific, this ant fauna is a mix of tramp species, Pacific natives and a few endemic species. Some of these ant species, present in most of the countries of the Indo-pacific and of the Malagasy region, may have been introduced in French Polynesia by the Austronesian during their dispersion.

The 118 islands of French Polynesia, divided into 5 archipelagoes, range from the 8th to the 27th parallel what induce different climates. The north of the Marquesas Islands is a tropical semi-arid climate while the south of the Austral Islands has a subtropical climate with cool winter and warm summer.

The ant diversity is much more important on the high islands with 48 ant species on the biggest and highest island of French Polynesia, Tahiti, which peaks at 2241 m. The ant fauna in the numerous low-lying atolls is a mix of tramp species (Solenopsis geminata, Anoplolepis gracilipes) and cryptic species (Cardiocondyla spp, Strumigenys spp, Ponera spp, Monomorium spp).

On the high islands, Solenopsis geminata, Pheidole fervens, Pheidole megacephala, Anoplolepis gracilipes, Tetramorium bicarinatum and Nylanderia spp dominate the ant fauna.


Thibault Ramage

Author Bio:

French Polynesia Curator