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Qatar University (2021)

Biodiversity of Ant Fauna (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) in Qatar

ALHAJRI, SALMA HADI R A

Titre : Biodiversity of Ant Fauna (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) in Qatar

Auteur : ALHAJRI, SALMA HADI R A

Université de soutenance : Qatar University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2021

Résumé
Information on Formicidae of Qatar as well as insect fauna is poorly documented. So far only six species of Formicidae (ants) belonging to five genera have been recorded from Qatar ; Brachyponera sennaarensis, Cataglyphis niger, Camponotus maculatus, Monomorium tumaire, Trichomyrmex destructor and T. mayri. Whilst in comparison, at least 300 ant species have been recorded from the Arabian Peninsula. This indicates a significant gap regarding our knowledge of the ant fauna and their diversity in Qatar. Ant specimens were collected by using aspirator, direct hand collection, litter sifting and pitfall traps during the period of April 2015 to April 2019 from 43 sites around the country. In the present study, 44 species are newly recorded for the ant fauna of the state of Qatar increasing the total number of ant species from Qatar to 50 species, including one additional subfamily, and 16 additional genera. Introduced species made up most of the total caught specimens, accounting for more than 61.79% of the ant specimens collected. This study investigated the spatial distribution of ant species in Qatar as well as the seasonal biodiversity of ants in different habitats at QU. The open desert (natural habitat) QU-NH was the highest in terms of number of species as well as with Shannon diversity index H value 1.77. The results indicated that human impact affects biological diversity. Molecular analysis was used for the first time to confirm the morphological identification of some ant species and the results showed that similarity was above 90%. This research is a baseline study that occurs for the first time in Qatar, as it’s important to understand ant fauna and their biodiversity in the state. This can be followed up with long-term and short-term different ecological studies. Furthermore, considering the rapid economic growth of Qatar, which is the result of the exposure of the country to high amounts of trade, this will make Qatar a preferable destination for many introduced ant species. Therefore, a comprehensive study should clarify the current situation of introduced species, their expansion in Qatar and their possible negative impact

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Page publiée le 2 mai 2021