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bees & wasps



Legakis (1985) was unable to include Thásos in his biogeographical analysis of the ant fauna of the Greek islands as insufficient information was available. However, the fauna can be expected to be rich, perhaps in the region of 70 species or more given that Collingwood (1993) was able to find 41 species on Karpathos in a brief visit and Agosti & Collingwood (1987a) report 161 species from northern Greece. As a contribution to the study of ant biogeography in the Aegean I have collected ants for Cedric Collingwood during my visits and from this material he has identified 29 taxa. Of these, Tetramorium splendens, Camponotus atricolor and C. oertzeni are not listed by Agosti & Collingwood (1987a) as having been recorded from Greece, whilst Myrmica bessarabica, Tetramorium cf. punctatum, Lepisiota bipartita, L. frauenfeldi (=caucasica) and Lasius citrinus are not reported by these authors from the Balkan region.

Cataglyphis nodusThe taxonomy and identification of ant species is beset with problems and, although there has been considerable progress towards standardisation of nomenclature (Bolton, 1994), it is evident that the knowledge of the Greek fauna requires substantial revision. Borowiec & Salata (2012) have corrected and updated the preliminary checklist of Legakis (2011) but they have not incorporated the above records from Thasos. Numerous keys to identification exist for different parts of Europe but Agosti & Collingwood (1987b) provide the most comprehensive keys to the  worker caste of ants on the Aegean islands.

Most ant species on Thásos are inconspicuous and require specialist survey to locate them, however a few species cannot fail to be noticed by visitors. Cataglyphis nodus is a large red and black ant that nests in sandy soils on tracksides and in coastal olive groves. The workers are very active during the heat of the day and run quickly in zig-zag paths with their dark abdomens (gaster) held at an angle above their bodies. The harvester ants Messor spp. are widely distributed on Thásos and are remarkable for their large flat nests composed almost entirely of seed husks. M. muticus and M. wasmanni appear to be the commonest of these large shiny black ants but M. orientalis also occurs.



(nomenclature follows Agosti & Collingwood 1987a, although some sub-specific taxa have now been allocated specific status, and incorporates revisions included in Bolton 1994. This checklist has not been updated with regard to Borowiec & Salata 2012)




Pheidole pallidula (Nylander)

Myrmica bessarabica Nasarov

Aphaenogaster subterraneoides Emery

Messor muticus Nylander

Messor orientalis (Emery)

Messor wasmanni Krausse

Crematogaster schmidti (Mayr)

Solenopsis sp. 1

Leptothorax affinis Mayr

Leptothorax exilis Emery

Leptothorax rougeti Bondroit

Leptothorax semiruber Andre

Leptothorax unifasciatus (Latreille)

Tetramorium ?punctatum Santschi

Tetramorium splendens Ruzsky



Plagiolepis pygmaea (Latreille)

Plagiolepis vindobonensis Lomnicki

Lasius alienus (Foerster)

Lasius citrinus Emery

Camponotus aethiops (Latreille)

Camponotus atricolor (Nylander)

Camponotus concavus Dalla Torre

Camponotus creticus Forel

Camponotus oertzeni Forel

Camponotus piceus (Leach)

Cataglyphis nodus (Brulle)

Formica cunicularia Latreille

Lepisiota bipartita (Smith)

Lepisiota frauenfeldi (Mayr)



Agosti, D. & Collingwood, C.A. 1987a. A provisional list of the Balkan ants (Hym., Formicidae) and a key to the worker caste. I. Synonomic list. Bulletin de la Societé Entomologique Suisse, 60: 51-62

Agosti, D. & Collingwood, C.A. 1987b. A provisional list of the Balkan ants (Hym., Formicidae) and a key to the worker caste. II. Key to the worker caste, including the European species without the Iberian. Bulletin de la Societé Entomologique Suisse, 60: 261-293

Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to ant genera of the world. Harvard University Press.

Borowiec, L. & Salata, S. 2012. Ants of Greece – checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus, 23: 461-563.

Collingwood, C.A. 1993. A comparative study of the ant fauna of five Greek islands. Biologia Gallo-Hellenica, 20: 191-197

Langourov, M.S., Simov, N.P. & Abadjiev, S.P. 2013. Chilades trochylus (Freyer, [1845]) (Lep.: Lycaenidae), new for the North Aegean Islands. Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation, 125: 137-143.

Legakis, A. 1985. Contribution to the zoogeography of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the Greek islands. Biologia Gallo-Hellenica, 10: 253-257.

Legakis A. 2011. Annotated list of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Greece. Hellenic Zoological Archives 7:1-55.