myrmecology

Myrmecos

Tag archives for myrmecology

Above the Ant Line

[a guest post by myrmecologist Andrea Lucky] Andrea & her intrepid field team in New Guinea It was a dark and stormy night… …actually, it was a dark and stormy morning.  The dawn of the 7th day of ceaseless frigid rain to be precise, and I was reminiscing about the grand old days one week…

New Species: Myrmicocrypta camargoi

Myrmicocrypta camargoi Sosa-Calvo & Schultz 2010 Brazil The world’s ant fauna continues to yield new treasures. Myrmicocrypta camargoi, described in a new paper by Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo & Ted Schultz, is the largest species in this fungus-growing genus. source: Sosa-Calvo, J., Schultz, T.R. 2010. Three Remarkable New Fungus-Growing Ant Species of the Genus Myrmicocrypta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae),…

Leptomyrmex darlingtoni, Australia A big day for ant evolution! The Ant Tree of Life research group (AToL) has published their dolichoderine phylogeny in the journal Systematic Biology. Dolichoderines are one of the big ant subfamilies, comprising just under ten percent of the world’s ant species. These are dominant, conspicuous ants noted for having ditched the…

Over 12,000 ant species have been described since the inception of modern taxonomy 252 years ago. From Formica rufa Linneaus 1758 to Paraparatrechina gnoma LaPolla & Cheng 2010, where did all those names come from? Now it’s easier than ever to find out. The Global Ant Project is assembling a biography for each of the…

The Myrmica Phylogeny

The online early section of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution this week has the first comprehensive phylogeny of a rather important genus of ants: Myrmica. Myrmica is ubiquitous in the colder climates of North America and Eurasia, with a few seemingly incongruous species inhabiting the mountains of tropical southeast Asia. The genus contains about 200 species,…

Basal Ants?

Let me preface this post by saying that Christian Peeters is one of my absolute favorite myrmecologists.  If lost in a remote African jungle and stalked by ravenous leopards, for example, Christian is the first ant guy I’d pick to help get me out of the predicament. Having said that, this paper in Insectes Sociaux…

What are ant taxonomists buzzing about this week?* Well. A hot new paper by John LaPolla, Seán Brady, and Steve Shattuck in Systematic Entomology has killed Paratrechina as we know it. 

Ant Course 2010: Borneo

ANT COURSE 2010 Danum Valley Field Centre, Sabah Borneo, August 16 – 26 DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: April 1, 2010 click here for application form COURSE OBJECTIVES. – ANT COURSE is designed for systematists, ecologists, behaviorists, conservation biologists, and other biologists whose research responsibilities require a greater understanding of ant taxonomy and field research techniques.  Emphasis…

In reading various web reactions to news that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained nearly 1 million dollars for ant research at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, it seems there’s a lot of confusion about how something like ant behavior winds up getting a stimulus check.  Here’s an explanation.

This tree depicts how colony size evolves in ants.  The purple/blue colors represent small colonies with only a few to a few dozen ants, while the yellows and oranges represent species with enormous colonies of tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals.  What’s exciting about this rainbow-colored figure? If you were expecting ant evolution to…