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Article Reference First records for Belgium of the ant species Myrmica vandeli Bondroit, 1920 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
We report the first observations of Myrmica vandeli Bondroit, 1920 for Belgium. The species was found in an oligotrophic, undisturbed wet grassland in Richtenberg, Burg-Reuland in 2011 and 2021. This Myrmica species is rare in Europe and restricted to open wet meadows, swamps, fens and peatlands. Myrmica vandeli is added to the ant fauna of Belgium which now numbers 12 Myrmica species. It is possible that M. vandeli specimens were previously confused with specimens of its sister species Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander, 1846. Hence we suggest to revise all M. scabrinodis samples from the south-eastern part of Belgium (from Hautes Fagnes south to Luxembourg) as it is possible that M. vandeli was left unnoticed before and identified as M. scabrinodis.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Confirmation of Nicrophorus sepultor Charpentier, 1825 as a Belgian species (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Silphinae)
In this note the status of the burying beetle Nicrophorus sepultor Charpentier, 1825 as a Belgian species is confirmed based on eight specimens found in the collections of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). The records are presented, mapped and the diagnostic features of this species are given.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Recent and old records of the rare myrmecophilous beetle Haeterius ferrugineus (Olivier 1789) in Belgium, Luxembourg and North-East of France
Haeterius ferrugineus (Olivier 1789) is a rarely observed histerid beetle which lives permanently in ant nests. We provide the first records of this species in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, and give an overview of the scattered records for this species in Belgium, Grand-Duché of Luxembourg and the border region in the North of France gathered over the past 150 years.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Soil‑litter arthropod communities under pasture land use in southern Rwanda
Land use change caused by human activities is the main driver of biodiversity loss and changes in ecosystem functioning. However, less is known about how the conversion of a natural to pasture land favour the biological diversity of soil-litter arthropods to advance efective conservation plans and management systems. To fll the gap, this study focussed on soil-litter arthropod communities under a pasture land use in southern Rwanda. Data have been collected using pitfall traps and hand collection between April and June 2021. Sampled specimens of soil-litter arthropods have been identifed to order and family levels by using dichotomous keys. Further, the species name was given when the identifcation key was available, while the morphological description was provided in absence of the identifcation keys. Results indicated a total of 3013 individuals of soil-litter arthropods grouped into 3 classes, 13 orders, 46 families and 87 morpho-species. Coleoptera showed a high number of families, while higher abundance and the number of morpho-species were found for ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Higher abundance of sampled soil-litter arthropods is a sign that the studied area ofers suitable habitat for soil-litter arthropods. However, less abundance found for some groups of soil-litter arthropods might be infuenced by the used sampling techniques which were not appropriate for them. We recommend surveys using multiple sampling techniques to maximize chances of capturing a wide range of soil-litter arthropods
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference First inventory of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with detection of potentially invasive species in National Park of Ehotilés islands, Côte d’Ivoire
Estuarine and wetland ecosystems are becoming increasingly altered by the concentration of human population near the coastline. A major threat to biodiversity related to this is the introduction of invasive alien species. This is particularly the case for isolated ecosystems like islands where the invasion of non-native species is often harmful. The National Park of Ehotilés Islands is an archipelago of 6 islands and a RAMSAR site subjected to disturbances, namely agriculture, illegal fisheries, and tourism. These factors often act as an accelerator for the introduction of invasive species. However, there is a lack of research on insects, specifically ants, on these islands. This study aimed to inventory the present ant fauna and estimate the vulnerability to tramp and potential invasive ant species. Ants were collected using Winkler, pitfall, and funnel traps on five islands. In total, 76 ant species were recorded. These species are distributed into 20 genera and five subfamilies: Dolichoderinae (5 species), Formicinae (11 species), Myrmicinae (49 species), Ponerinae (11 species) and Proceratiinae (1 species). We also detected two tramp and potentially invasive species: the ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum and the big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala. Ant communities are dominated by six species, namely Odontomachus troglodytes, Oecophylla longinoda, Nylanderia lepida, Pheidole sp.2, Monomorium invidium, and the invasive ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum. This work is the first to inventory ants on the Islands of Ehotilés National Park and may serve as a basis for conservation decisions as it demonstrates that this park is not spared from the introduction of invasive ant species.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2024
Article Reference Where are we now with European forest multi-taxon biodiversity and where can we head to?
The European biodiversity and forest strategies rely on forest sustainable management (SFM) to conserve forest biodiversity. However, current sustainability assessments hardly account for direct biodiversity indicators. We focused on forest multi-taxon biodiversity to: i) gather and map the existing information; ii) identify knowledge and research gaps; iii) discuss its research potential. We established a research network to fit data on species, standing trees, lying deadwood and sampling unit description from 34 local datasets across 3591 sampling units. A total of 8724 species were represented, with the share of common and rare species varying across taxonomic classes: some included many species with several rare ones (e.g., Insecta); others (e.g., Bryopsida) were repre sented by few common species. Tree-related structural attributes were sampled in a subset of sampling units (2889; 2356; 2309 and 1388 respectively for diameter, height, deadwood and microhabitats). Overall, multi taxon studies are biased towards mature forests and may underrepresent the species related to other developmental phases. European forest compositional categories were all represented, but beech forests were over represented as compared to thermophilous and boreal forests. Most sampling units (94%) were referred to a habitat type of conservation concern. Existing information may support European conservation and SFM strategies in: (i) methodological harmonization and coordinated monitoring; (ii) definition and testing of SFM indicators and thresholds; (iii) data-driven assessment of the effects of environmental and management drivers on multi-taxon forest biological and functional diversity, (iv) multi-scale forest monitoring integrating in-situ and remotely sensed information.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Notes on the myrmecophilous spider Mastigusa arietina (Thorell, 1871)
We provide records of the rarely detected ant-associated spider Mastigusa arietina (Thorell, 1871) in northwest Belgium and discuss how to locate and capture this spider. We show that this myrmecophilous spider is much more common than currently presumed but it is often missed in common spider surveys due to its obligate association with ant nests. We also summarise and illustrate the recently gained insights into its ecology, behaviour, and interactions with its host and other ant associates.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference La pratique de l’entomologie du terrain au conservatoire ou l’essentiel est de bien transmettre
The principles and conventions concerning research, killing, treatment, preparation and classification of insects in collections are discussed in this note. A special attention to the labeling and related items are recalled with the aim of harmonizing practices and correcting drifts observed over the time.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference De loopkever Amara strenua en zijn recente uitbreiding in Nederland en België (Coleoptera: Carabidae)
Na lange tijd niet te zijn waargenomen, lijkt de loopkever Amara strenua weer in toenemende mate voor te komen in Nederland en België. Voor ons was dat een unieke gelegenheid om meer te weten te komen over deze internationaal schaarse soort. We hebben gekeken naar de verspreiding van A. strenua, de karakteristieken van zijn habitat en naar zijn biologie. Door middel van kweekproeven kon voor het eerst de larve (stadium II) beschreven worden. Ten slotte beschrijven we een nieuw kenmerk om A. strenua van A. kulti te onderscheiden.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 OA
Article Reference Remarks on Hymenoptera on urban green roofs in Belgium
In this paper we discuss all Hymenoptera (10.085 specimens) caught on several urban green roofs in Belgium during 2020 and 2021. We thereby try to connect species’ ecology and the specific habitat of extensive green roofs. Based on these findings we suggest what life communities can indeed be expected there. Six species on 120 taxa discovered are first reported for Belgium: Gonatopus lunatus (var. bifasciatus) Klug, 1810 (Aculeata: Dryinidae); Synacra paupera Macek, 1995 (Parasitica: Diapriidae); Alysia lucicola Haliday, 1838, Idiasta dichrocera Konigsmann, 1960 and Leiophron deficiens (Ruthe, 1856) (Parasitica: Braconidae) and Gelis declivis Forster, 1850 (Parasitica: Ichneumonidae).
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 OA