2007: The Year in Ants


This week the blogosphere is busy recapping 2007 with lists of top stories in politics, news, and celebrity haircuts. In all the hoopla surrounding year's end, somehow everyone seems to have forgotten the ants, even though the, um, fast-paced world of Myrmecology has made plenty of discoveries this year. In no particular order, here is my list of the most significant advances in Ant Science from 2007.

Outside the realm of technical publications, 2007 also saw other advances, especially online. Kiko Gómez & Xavier Espadaler created a fantastic database of Spanish Ants at hormigas.org, Antweb.org continued to add new faunas such as Costa Rica and New Zealand, Ajay Narendra launched a live ant image gallery for the Indian and Australian faunas, Kari Ryder-Wilkie continued to add images to the Ants of Tiputini, Jochen Bihn added more pages to the Ants of Cachoeira, Nugi from the Ant Farm Boards created an image gallery of Indonesian insects, and Benoit Guenard launched ant image galleries from Australia and North Carolina. The Ant Course was held in Arizona this year, attracting over two dozen students, and instructors Brian Fisher and Stefan Cover published an excellent guide to the Ant Genera of North America. American Public Television's NOVA program produced an ant-related show, and National Geographic continued to publish Mark Moffett's photographic series on ants.

Here's hoping that 2008 holds yet more Myrmecological treats!

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Hi there! I've come across your blog from the Microecos blog. I did my undergrad in Evolution and Ecology at Davis, now doing a PhD at Penn State. I love your insect photos, they are great! I blog about inverts, sometimes highlighting ants and other insects. Check it out sometime. Looking forward to seeing more insect macros in '08.

Thanks for mentioning my site. I would like to point out that main gallery is at http://www.semutindonesia.com/gallery/ , which concerns ants. I'm just beginning to do macrophotography and I only shoot non-ant insects occasionally.


Yep, Myrmecos, 2007 was a great year for ants.

But, you forgot to mention in your account of the Festschrift that we also now have a key to the previously unidentifiable Formica pallidefulva group (wink, wink).

Nevertheless, the news hasn't exactly swept around the myrmecological world -- I continue to get questions about the synonymized "Formica nitidiventris". I should be used to this sort of thing by now, as I also still see occasional, post-revisional mention of of Paratrechina melanderi and the discredited subgenera Nylanderia and Diplorhoptrum!!!

Happy and productive 2008 to all the ant folk