EFFECTS ON OTHER ANTS AND
ARTHROPODS IN HUMAN-INFLUENCED HABITATS
Through their geographical distribution, the distinct populations live in a wide range
of conditions, from strictly urban habitats - streets with heavy traffic to semi-urban
sites, mildly degraded habitats or seemingly undisturbed localities. A
common feature to all such places is the presence of trees, on whose aphid
populations the ants depend.
Some of those
populations have attained pest status, affecting man or other biological
components. Those populations can properly be qualified as invasive (=an
agent of change, threatening native biological diversity). Other
populations are still merely established and seem to have a more limited
expansion as they have yet to be reported as pernicious; this may
correspond to the lag phase found in many invaders. Perhaps this is
only due to lack of knowledge or, alternatively, climate has, indeed, a
limiting effect on the dispersal or expansion processes.
From its description,
it is known that in the areas occupied by this species, other
species have vanished or have very reduced populations. Spatial and
temporal foraging of native ants and their richness on trees is strongly
diminished when L. neglectus is present (Paris & Espadaler,
arthropod groups also seem to be affected in positive (=enhanced
presence; aphids), negative (=lesser density; lepidoptera larvae) or
EFFECTS AT HOME
Not all populations
seem to be invasive. In some of these, ants do not invade buildings or
houses, and opt to nest outside, in public gardens, at the
base of trees
cracks in cemented areas or sidewalks.
In certain populations (Seva,
Taradell, and Matadepera in Spain, or Paris, in France, ants enter
buildings and occupy diverse components of the construction.
Killing ants by insecticide spray may produce impressive results. They seem to
be attracted to electrical fields, causing failure and damage by shorting
or by occupying
boxes or electro-mechanical devices, such as automatic blinds.