Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 193–197 | Cite as

Winter activity of the European false honeypot ant, Prenolepis nitens (Mayr, 1853)

Short Communication


Cryophily, or negative thermotropism, is a poorly documented phenomenon in ants. Only a few species have been reported to be active at such extremely low temperatures that would incapacitate other ant species. In this study, the winter activity of the European false honeypot ant, Prenolepis nitens, was investigated in an oak forest in mid-western Hungary. The results suggest that P. nitens similar to its North American sister species, Prenolepis imparis, has no definite winter hibernation period and, unlike most temperate ant species, it remains active above-ground all winter and early spring, foraging whenever temperature allows movement, even when temperatures are near freezing.


Cold tolerance Cryophily Foraging Prenolepis nitens Temperature 



I am grateful for the helpful comments of István Maák and two anonymous reviewers, and Csaba Tölgyesi and Judit Márton for helping with linguistic issues.


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Copyright information

© International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EcologyUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary

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