After months of development by Evan, Julia Janicki, Benoit Guenard, Nitish Narula, and Matt Ziegler, we are very pleased to introduce AntMaps.orgScreen Shot 2015-07-10 at 3.50.19 PM! AntMaps is an interactive web framework for mapping ant species ranges and aggregate biodiversity patterns. In particular, AntMaps is built to visualize and interact with the GABI database, currently consisting 1.6 million records of ant data. GABI is, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive global biodiversity dataset for any insect group. We hope that by providing a gateway to GABI, AntMaps will be an efficient and useful tool for amateur and professional myrmecologists, and also help us root out problems with the database. We’d love to hear your feedback.

New Island Biogeography Paper

New paper in Global Ecology & Biogeography with Kostas Triantis, Robert Ricklefs, and François Guilhaumon finds a surprising invariance in the slopes of species-area relationships across disparate taxa on oceanic archipelagoes. We developed a novel method to infer whether colonization, extinction, or speciation are likely responsible for the scaling patterns.

Two new papers on tropical Chinese ant biodiversity

Aenictus yangiCong has two new papers out so far this year! The first paper describes a new species, Aenictus yangi in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research. The other paper, in Zookeys, reports new records of ant species encountered in Yunnan, China. Both papers are coming from the field expedition to the Xingshuabanna area that Cong, Benoit Guenard, and Benjamin Blanchard made recently. They found 25 species previously unrecorded in Yunnan in addition to many new species (including, of course, Bannapone). Nice work, Cong!

Samoa Collecting Trip


In April, 2015, Eli and Cong made a two-week collecting trip to Samoa. One purpose was to look for two endemic species Pheidole aana and Pheidole atua, which was last collected in 1967 before this trip. They ended up finding Pheidole aana, along with four other endemic species among the 33 ant species collected during this trip. They also recorded two new genera from Samoa, Discothyrea and Proceratium. Moreover, they collected native forest species at an altitude as high as 1400 meters.

Samoa Collecting Trip  Samoa Collecting Trip

‘Wonders of Ants’ booth at Open Campus, February 2015


Submitted by Yoshimura-san

The Economo Unit once again setup the booth, “Wonders of Ants,” at OIST’s Open Campus, which took place on February 1st, 2015. We displayed 2D and 3D ant images, research posters, ant trivia, ant specimens and live colonies to show our ant research. Many visitors enjoyed the displays, and learned about the diversity of ants and their important role in the ecosystem. Some people were surprised to see the stout head of the Okinawan trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus kuroiwae. Some were amazed by the high diversity of ants found on Okinawa Island. Many kids were glued to the live colony displays, and to the 3D image. We also asked visitors to draw ants. By the end of the day, we had three large posters filled with colorful drawings of ants!

We would like to thank all the volunteer staff for their hard work!



More information about Open Campus 2015: [English|日本語]

Photos from the booth (courtesy Cong Liu):