Updated checklist of the ants in Belgium

Version 1.3 published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on Feb 12, 2024 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Publication date:
12 February 2024
CC0 1.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 101 records in English (24 KB)  - Update frequency: as needed
Metadata as an EML file download in English (23 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (17 KB)


The Updated checklist of the ants in Belgium is a species checklist dataset published by Institute of Natural Sciences. It contains information on 101 ant species occurring in Belgium, detected between 1833 and 2022. Here it is published as a standardized Darwin Core Archive and includes for each species: the scientific name, kingdom, and stable taxon identifier (in the taxon core), the presence in Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region, the year of the first introduction (first collection) and last assessment/observation in Belgium (given as a year range), as well as the degree of establishment and the pathway(s) of introduction (in the distribution extension), coarse habitat information (in the species profile extension), and the native range(s) (in the description extension). Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/trias-project/belgian-formicidae-checklist.

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use (https://www.inbo.be/en/norms-data-use) when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don’t hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata.

This dataset was published as open data for the TrIAS project (Tracking Invasive Alien Species http://trias-project.be, Vanderhoeven et al. 2017), with technical support provided by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). It is selected as one of the authoritative sources for the compilation of a unified and reproducible checklist of alien species in Belgium.

Data Records

The data in this checklist resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 101 records.

3 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Taxon (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Please be aware, this is an old version of the dataset.  Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Dekoninck W, Vankerkhoven F, Taelman C, Wegnez P, Ignace D, Adriaens T, Reyserhove L (2024). Updated checklist of the ants in Belgium. Version 1.3. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Checklist dataset. https://ipt.inbo.be/resource?r=belgian-formicidae-checklist&v=1.3


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 32afaa9d-a27f-4885-b30c-ce08c34e1efb.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Checklist; Inventoryregional


Wouter Dekoninck
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Institute of Natural Sciences
François Vankerkhoven
  • Originator
Mierenwerkgroep Polyergus
Charlotte Taelman
Philippe Wegnez
  • Originator
Association FourmisWalBru
David Ignace
  • Originator
Association FourmisWalBru
Tim Adriaens
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Lien Reyserhove
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • User
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

Geographic Coverage


Bounding Coordinates South West [49.49, 2.53], North East [51.51, 6.41]

Taxonomic Coverage

Ants (Formicidae)

Family Formicidae

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1833-01-01 / 2022-12-31

Project Data

Imagine a future where dynamically, from year to year, we can track the progression of alien species (AS), identify emerging species, assess their current and future risk and timely inform policy in a seamless data-driven workflow. One that is built on open science and open data infrastructures. By using international biodiversity standards and facilities, we would ensure interoperability, repeatability and sustainability. This would make the process adaptable to future requirements in an evolving IAS policy landscape both locally and internationally. The project Tracking Invasive Alien Species (TrIAS) aims to do this for Belgium. For a full project description, see Vanderhoeven et al. (2017, https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.3.e13414).

Title Tracking Invasive Alien Species (TrIAS)
Identifier TrIAS
Funding TrIAS is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) call for Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks (BRAIN).
Study Area Description Belgium.
Design Description The project builds on two components: 1) The establishment of a data mobilization framework for alien species data from diverse data sources and 2) the development of data-driven procedures for risk evaluation based on risk modelling, risk mapping and risk assessment. TrIAS uses facilities from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF, http://www.gbif.org), standards from the Biodiversity Information Standards organization (TDWG, http://www.tdwg.org) and expertise from the Open science lab for biodiversity (https://oscibio.inbo.be) to create and facilitate a systematic workflow. Alien species data are gathered from a large set of regional, national and international initiatives, including citizen science data, with a wide taxonomic scope from marine, terrestrial and freshwater environments. Observation data are funnelled in repeatable ways to GBIF. In parallel, a Belgian checklist of alien species is established, benefiting from various taxonomic and project-based checklists foreseen for GBIF publication.

The personnel involved in the project:

Sampling Methods

A large portion of the occurrence data have been collected by volunteers, other records originated from several projects and research programs. The data and specimens were sent to the Belgian ant curators (all are authors of the dataset here), and after validation, the information was incorporated in the database. Most occurrence records originate from hand/nest sampling (mainly from Wallonia) and pitfall sampling (mainly from Flanders).

Study Extent This checklist is the result of 25 years of ant inventory and study in Belgium. Several checklists have been published before (Dekoninck & Vankerkhoven, 2001; Dekoninck et al., 2006; Dekoninck et al., 2012). Nevertheless, some unverified Belgian ant lists circulated on the web and therefore an official new and up-to-date checklist was essential. All data are retrieved from the database FORMIDABEL (Brosens et al., 2013). FORMIDABEL is a joint cooperation of the Flemish ants working group “Polyergus” (http://www.formicidae.be) and the Wallonian ant working group “FourmisWalBru” . The original database was created in 2002 in the context of the preliminary red data book of Flemish Ants (Dekoninck et al. 2003). Later, in 2005, data from the Southern part of Belgium; Wallonia and Brussels were added. In 2012 this dataset was again updated for the creation of the first Belgian Ants Atlas (Dekoninck et al. 2012). The main purpose of this atlas was to generate maps for all outdoor-living ant species in Belgium using an overlay of the standard Belgian ecoregions. Up-to-date maps are still available on www.formicidae-atlas.be.
Quality Control All records are individually validated by species experts (resource creators of this dataset).

Method step description:

  1. The source data for this standardized checklist is a Google Spreadsheet and re-uploaded regularly at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Rvb9qwpSrflZ9bABvGa-F7BhHROsQCSn/edit#gid=1231119869
  2. This raw data file was uploaded to a GitHub repository (https://github.com/trias-project/belgian-formicidae-checklist).
  3. We developed a RMarkdown script to document and perform the transformation of the data to Darwin Core (https://github.com/trias-project/belgian-formicidae-checklist/blob/main/src/dwc_mapping.Rmd)
  4. The resulting Darwin Core data files are uploaded to the INBO IPT, documented with metadata, published and registered with GBIF

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Brosens D, Vankerkhoven F, Ignace D, Wegnez P, Noй N, Heughebaert A, Bortels J, Dekoninck W, 2013. FORMIDABEL; The Belgian Ants Database. ZooKeys, 306: 59-70.
  2. Dekoninck W & Vankerkhoven F, 2001. Checklist of the Belgian ant-fauna (Formicidae, Hymenoptera). Bulletin de l’Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Entomologie, 71: 263-266.
  3. Dekoninck W, Vankerkhoven F & Maelfait J-P, 2003. Verspreidingsatlas en voorlopige Rode Lijst van de mieren van Vlaanderen. Rapport van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud 2003.07. Brussel 191 pp.
  4. Dekoninck W, Maelfait J-P, Vankerkhoven F, Baugnée J-Y, & Grootaert P, 2006. An update of the checklist of the Belgian ant fauna with comments on new species for the country (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Belgium Journal of Entomology, 8: 27-41.
  5. Dekoninck W, Ignace D, Vankerkhoven F & Wegnez F, 2012. Verspreidingsatlas van de mieren van België - Atlas des fourmis de Belgique. Bulletin S.R.B.E./K.B.V.E., 148: 95-186.

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 32afaa9d-a27f-4885-b30c-ce08c34e1efb