David and Goliath
May 10, 2010, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Picture

Here is a picture that I took in Costa Rica (which survived my computer crash).  You can see an Azteca worker attacking an hermit crab. The duel finished by the desertion of the hermit crab.

Long time without posting and many things to report…
May 10, 2010, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Database additions, Maps explanations

Long time without posting and many things to report.

As some of you might now, I spent the beginning of this year in Costa Rica and did a little excursion in Panama. Of course, I took a lot of pictures of ants and other invertebrates, plants, amphibians, lizards … but about 3 weeks ago my computer feel on the ground and since then I have not been able to get my pictures back, at least most of them (hard drive broken). I still have about 250 pictures left, but some series are entirely gone unfortunately.

Now that I started with the bad news, I can continue with the good news. Of course that trip was fantastic and the return was of course a little bit sad. Sometimes, you feel good somewhere and would like to stay longer, much longer…

During my trip at Barro Colorado Island (BCI), I had the chance to meet David Donoso, PhD student in Mike Kaspari’s laboratory. Of course, we talk about ants and David‘s work on BCI, where he is interested by the effect of specific tree presence on the structure of leaf litter ants. David is also interested to develop the knowledge and the taxonomy of ants from Ecuador, where David comes from, and at this effect, he orientates me to some of his work (published in a French journal!).

David also works on a revision of the very interesting genus Tatuidris (pictures on Antweb). It was the first time that I had the chance to see this beautiful ant under a microscope and they are totally amazing! David provided me some records that I did not know about Tatuidris, and so the new map is now updated!

Let’s continue with the new additions of the database, and let me thanks Dr. Mostafa Sharaf from Riyadh who provides me some of his articles and new discoveries about the ants of Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  Among the main additions, notice the presence of Carebara and Solenopsis in Saudi Arabia; the potential presence of Leptanilla in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the removal of Lasius from Egypt (probably a misidentification).

Also, note that in the last paper of Omid Paknia and collaborators published a new article on the ants of Iran in Asian Myrmecology. They provide new generic records for DolichoderusMyrmecina, Proformica, Pyramica, Stenamma and Strongylognathus, as well as a total of 32 new species records.

Here is an overview of the new records:

What have changed since the last major update (12th Decembre 2009):

–          59 new records representing 43 genera

–          10 new interpolations for 6 genera

–          6 records of genera that have been introduced in a region

–          5 records removed (misidentification in the original paper) for 2 genera (Lasius and Dicroaspis)

Note that the change of Paratrechina into Nylanderia, Paraparatrechina and Paratrechina is not yet effective on the maps.

Finally I would like to thank those of you who read this blog and communicate with me to improve the maps. It is always a pleasure, thank you!