Monday, December 10, 2007 - 8:53 AM

The abundance of the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas

Robin M Verble,, University of Arkansas, Department of Entomology, 319 AGRI, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

The black carpenter ant, [Camponotus pennsylvanicus DeGeer], is a predator of the red oak borer, [Enaphalodes rufulus Haldeman], a cerambycid beetle that has contributed to a northern red oak decline event in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. As dormant season prescribed fire becomes a more prevalent ecosystem management tool, it is necessary to understand how it may affect beetle predators. Nine areas treated with prescribed fire were evaluated for the presence of foraging black carpenter ants. Foraging activity was measured by the presence or absence of ants at bait cups affixed to trees. Stands burned in 2006 contain significantly fewer trees with foraging black carpenter ants than unburned stands and those burned in 2005 and 2007. Black carpenter ants are absent on trees with high (>10 on basal 2m of bole) numbers of red oak borer emergence holes. These data suggest that the abundance of foraging black carpenter ants is affected by prescribed fires, and ants may exhibit tree preference.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Camponotus pennsylvanicus (black carpenter ant)
Species 2: Coleoptera Cerambycidae Enaphalodes rufulus (red oak borer)