Found after a Century: Ant Fauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Recorded by Multiple Methods in Rilagala Forest Reserve in the Knuckles Range, Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka
Worker ants in a selected region of the Rilagala Forest Reserve, which is situated in Nuwara-Eliya District, Sri Lanka were surveyed for the first time on 26 July, 2019. Ants were collected from two localities by employing 100 m transects. Honey baiting, soil sifting and pitfall trapping were employed to collect worker ants in the area and ants in the forest edge were collected manually. Ants captured by honey baits were collected after one hour and the specimens in pitfall traps were collected after five hours. Collected ants were preserved in 85% ethanol. Mean Air (17±0.0 °C) and soil temperature (14±0.5 °C) and the range of litter depth (0-1 cm) were recorded. Twenty-one species in 11 genera of four subfamilies, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae and Ponerinae recorded can be considered the preliminary inventory of ants in the region. Six endemic species, Nylanderia yerburyi, Polyrhachis rupicapra, Pheidole barraleti, Pheidole nodus, Pheidole hortensis and Pheidole butteli, were recorded and three ant species, Crematogaster subnuda, Leptogenys diminuta and Polyrhachis rupicapra, were recorded after more than 100 years of their last record from the country.