A 6-yr survey (2003–2008) identifying the ant fauna present in Maine lowbush blueberry fields was conducted in Washington and Hancock Counties. Pitfall trapping, leaf litter, and hand collections, as well as protein and sugar baits were used to characterize the resident ant community in this habitat. Estimates of faunal richness as impacted by the blueberry crop stage (pruned or fruit-bearing), methods of pest management (grower standard, reduced-risk, or organic), and location within fields (middle, edge, or forested perimeters) were determined. In total, 42 species were collected from blueberry fields, comprising five subfamilies and 15 genera. Myrmica sculptilis Francoeur, Myrmica americana Weber, and Formica exsectoides Forel were the three most abundant species. Formica ulkei Emery, Myrmecina americana Emery, and Leptothorax canadensis Provancher represent new species records for Maine. Ants were most diverse in organic fields, and along the edge and within the wooded areas surrounding fields. Results suggest insecticide application reduces ant diversity.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2