Dungeness – a great place for ants!

9th October 2009, Friday

L.myops with aphid

Lasius myops with aphid

Recent surveys have confirmed Dungeness is a great place for ants; perhaps as many as four species will prove to be new for Britain. One of these (pictured) is Lasius myops, a yellow ant very similar to the common Yellow Meadow Ant L.flavus. The new ant was found and identified by Dr John Pontin and is currently only known in Britain at a small patch of disturbed shingle at the RSPB reserve, although John has very recently found specimens that may prove to be this species elsewhere on the reserve. Dungeness has well over 20 species of ant, a greater diversity than anywhere else in Britain. The reason it is so special is that large the areas of bare ground, warmed by the sun and not subject to plant succession provide ideal conditions for nests to become established and prosper. This interesting image of L.myops carrying an aphid was taken by Bob Gomes.