Worldwide Spread of Pheidole teneriffana (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
biogeography, Biological invasion, exotic species, Invasive species
Pheidole teneriffana is an Old World ant species that has spread to other parts of the world through human commerce. To evaluate its known distribution, I compiled and mapped P. teneriffana records from >200 sites. I documented the earliest known P. teneriffana records for 43 geographic areas (countries, island groups, major islands, and US states), including 11 West Indian islands for which I found no previously published records: Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic (Hispañola), Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Mar- tinique, Montserrat, and St Lucia. Pheidole teneriffana is known from sites scattered across the greater Mediterranean region (North Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and neighboring islands), though it is unclear which parts of this area constitute its native range. Pheidole teneriffana is known from only a few Old World sites distant from the Med- iterranean region, i.e., Ascension, China, England, St Helena, and South Africa. In the New World, where this species is certainly exotic, there are published P. teneriffana records only from California, Cuba, and Peru. The first records from 11 West Indian islands presented here, all from 2003 or later, suggest that P. teneriffana is actively spreading through this re- gion. Almost all West Indian records of P. teneriffana come from beaches or urban areas. It seems doubtful that P. teneriffana will develop into a major pest species like its congener, the infamous Pheidole megacephala.