Lasius neglectus is a small to mid-sized (2.5–3.5 mm) dull brown species with lighter brown appendages, dense pubescence, and a truncated propodeum. The species, which is believed to be native to Asia Minor, has been spreading across Europe for at least the past 40 years, but prior to its formal description (van Loon et al., 1990), L. neglectus had been treated as its two close relatives, L. alienus and L. turcicus Santschi (Seifert, 2000). The species, described from Budapest, is now known from other locations within Hungary and from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Rumania, Spain, Turkey, and the Canary Islands (Espadaler & Bernal, 2003;2004; Seifert, 2000). Lasius neglectus is likely present in other European cities, but is yet to reach densities high enough to cause reporting and identification (Harris et al., 2005). In addition to dominating resources to the likely detriment of native species, L. neglectus is also known to cause damage to vegetation and occupy buildings. The temperate habitat and invasive characteristics demonstrated by L. neglectus suggest it could become widespread in North America if a population becomes established. For a comprehensive fact sheet detailing the history, biology, pest significance of L. neglectus, along with an exemplary risk analysis for establishment in New Zealand, the reader is referred to Harris et al. (2005).
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