Abstract

Gorgona is one of the two insular areas of the Colombian tropical rain forest at the Pacific and is amongst the most diverse biogeographic regions of the world, the Choco. This study compiles information on ant species from published (1991) and unpublished (2006) studies and provides new records for ant species collected in 2010. Ants were sampled and information was obtained from 15 sites in Gorgona island (13.82km2), including the Gorgonilla atoll (0.49km2). Collecting methods included pitfall traps, tuna baits, mini-Winkler extraction of leaf litter, Malaise traps, entomological net and direct search. The soil and understory ant inventory resulted in 107 ant species and morphospecies, 46 genera in 12 subfamilies. Myrmicinae held the highest species richness (37 species), followed by Ponerinae (27) and Formicinae (12). The richest genera were Pachycondyla (15 species), Camponotus (nine) and Pheidole (eight), while 30 genera were represented by a single species. Twelve species were very common (both in distribution and time): Azteca sp., Atta cephalotes, Camponotus sericeiventris, Eciton vagans, Ectatomma goninion, Gnamptogenys annulata, Odontomachus bauri, Pachycondyla bugabensis, P. harpax, P. verenae, Paraponera clavata and Wasmannia auropunctata. Direct search was the most efficient method to collect diferent species and was responsible for 52% of the total species found. Compared to other Neotropical islands, Gorgona holds a suprisingly high number of ant species, none of them invasive. The invasive Monomorium floricola, which was collected 20 years ago, was not found in 2010. These evidences suggest that ecological mechanisms and natural recovery processes in the ecosystem have generated microhabitats allowing their coexistence. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 1): 265-276. Epub 2014 February 01.

Keywords: Chocó rain forest, wet tropical forest, ants composition, insular ecosystems, ant sampling