Ants of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (2015)

Bison WMWR

Last weekend marked the final sampling period for a project that Diane and I have been working on throughout the summer. We were fortunate enough to have been granted a permit to set out pitfall traps and collect leaf litter in order to catalogue ants from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (WMWR). What an amazing place! The refuge is one of the best kept areas in Oklahoma, and probably in the entire United States. Bison, turkeys, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and a whole lot of ants. Previously compiled records from the last 100 years put the species count at 38 for the county where the refuge resides. From a quick scan of our samples I would say we have at least that number and probably between 5-10 new species including two new genera. In the future we will be pinning, identifying, and photographing all of our collected species to create a digital checklist and guide to the Ants of the WMWR!