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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #405217

Research Project: Enhancing Insect Ecosystem Services that Benefit Modern Cropping Systems

Location: Integrated Cropping Systems Research

Title: New record of the pavement ant, Tetramorium immigrans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in South Dakota with notes on its thermal tolerance and geographic distribution

Author
item Roeder, Karl
item Drey, Skylar
item Daniels, Jesse
item ROEDER, DIANE - South Dakota State University
item HELMS, JACKSON - Non ARS Employee

Submitted to: Great Lakes Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2023
Publication Date: 3/5/2024
Citation: Roeder, K.A., Drey, S.W., Daniels, J.D., Roeder, D.V., Helms, J.A. 2024. New record of the pavement ant, Tetramorium immigrans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in South Dakota with notes on its thermal tolerance and geographic distribution. Great Lakes Entomologist. 56(2). Article 10.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22543/0090-0222.2462

Interpretive Summary: The pavement ant, Tetramorium immigrans, is an introduced species that has spread across most of the United States. However, few records exist for the pavement ant in the central states of the Great Plains. In this manuscript, we provide an updated distributional map and novel information on the thermal biology of the pavement ant. We highlight a new discovery of pavement ants in South Dakota. Based on our results, we hypothesize that while T. immigrans can likely tolerate the warm summer temperatures found in South Dakota due to its heat tolerance hovering around 46°C, its lower ability to tolerate cold winter conditions may be a possible mechanism for its limited dispersal in cold regions.

Technical Abstract: The pavement ant, Tetramorium immigrans, is an abundant and widespread species across large portions of the United States. Yet despite its current distribution in Northeastern, Midwestern, Pacific, and Western states, there is a surprising lack of records from the Great Plains. Here we present an updated county list of T. immigrans from museum collections and research grade observations (459 counties; ~15% of US counties), highlighting the first records from one Great Plains state—South Dakota. Observations on community science platforms since 2006 have undoubtedly increased the awareness of T. immigrans (+329 counties; ~72% of all county records), however we posit that such platforms may also highlight the dispersal limitations of this species into the less urban, colder Northern Great Plains states of Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (~5% of 291 counties). As such, we offer novel information on T. immigrans’ thermal biology including measurements of critical thermal limits, knock-down resistance, and chill coma recovery. While T. immigrans can likely tolerate the warm summer temperatures found in South Dakota due to its heat tolerance hovering around 46°C, its lower ability to tolerate cold winter conditions may be a possible mechanism for its limited dispersal.