A review of Bahamian ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) biogeography
The results of recent surveys for ants on Staniel Cay, Exumas (and surrounding small cays) and the northeastern region of Andros are presented. These records are compiled with all previously published collection records of ants from the Bahamas into a single database. A list of all known Bahamian species is presented, in accord with current taxonomy. Distributions within the Bahamas are given, along with the status of each species with reference to its origin (endemic, native, or exotic). At present seventy-five named species of ants are known from the Bahamas, which shares 60% of its ant fauna with Florida and 71% with Cuba. More than one third of the species (37%) are exotics, which appear to exist primarily in areas characterized by human disturbance, and apparently have not invaded the native vegetation to a large degree.
Both historical and ecological factors are likely to have played important roles in shaping present-day Bahamian ant species diversity and distribution. The number of species on all major Bahamian islands from which ants have been collected is presented as a function of island area. Most islands have not been very thoroughly surveyed. The species-area relationship for the more thoroughly surveyed islands is relatively flat (z= 0.06). Further collecting in this archipelago will probably lead to the discovery of additional species.