Major: Biology and Sociology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Waters, Biology
Ants are often missed underfoot and overlooked, but they are among the most ecologically dominant groups of animals on the planet. There are more than 200 species of ants which have been scientifically recorded in New England but samples from Rhode Island represent less than a percent of the overall survey of our regional taxa. To discover the species that are found in Rhode Island, we are engaged in a multi-year and multi-location effort to systematically trap and accurately identify the ant species found in diverse rural and urban habitats across the state. Our initial survey of Providence identified 37 species of ants including two new invasive species. A focus of our study has also been on the unique Pine Barrens habitat found near Pojac Point Road in North Kingstown, RI. Among other species found here, we identified an undescribed species of thief ants in the genus Solenopsis previously not known to be found in this state.
4-22-2020 12:00 AM