DISTRIBUTION  (for more information:  Espadaler, X. Bernal, V. i Rojo, M. 2006a.)

This European species is found in the central as well as in the meridional regions, especially in humid places, although it does reach Turkey (Seifert, 1992). In Spain it is poorly known, being located basically in provinces of the northern half of the Iberian peninsula (Barcelona, Gerona, Huesca, Coruña, León, Lérida, Logroño, Lugo, Madrid, Navarra, Orense, Oviedo, Santander and Teruel). In Spain it has never been noted as producing damage in houses or logging .

A study using random plots in all the cork producing area in Catalonia, concluded that there is a relationship between the presence of Lasius brunneus and the altitude and climate. Lasius brunneus as a cork-oak pest is geographically limited to three regions: Alt Empordà (municipalities of Agullana, Maçanet de Cabrenys and La Vajol), Guilleries (Sant Hilari Sacalm and Santa Coloma de Farners) and Osona (Espinelves and Viladrau). Lasius brunneus has been detected in cork-oak woods in localities higher than 600m although if the climate is sufficiently humid or rainy, Lasius brunneus may be found at 400m altitude. In Catalonia it has never been observed nesting at altitudes below 300m.

The area where Lasius brunneus is found corresponds to a combination of climate and altitude, at the higher limit of the climatic preferences of cork oak, that is, altitudes below 400m and with a slight penchant for south and south-eastern slopes.

The altitudes of some of the affected areas (above 700m) are more characteristic of other forest tree species such as chestnut, in which nests of Lasius brunneus have previously been noted (Bernard, 1968; Donisthorpe, 1927).

Potential distribution of Lasius brunneus in the cork oak in Catalonia (gray dots). Studied plots (green dots) and infested plots (red dots). A colder and humid climate of northern localities favours the presence of the ant. Scale 1:300000.


Page authors: Xavier Espadaler  (Xavier.Espadaler@uab.es) and Víctor Bernal (v.bernal@creaf.uab.es).