New strange ant species discovered in Brazil

This video is called New Animals Species Discovered 21st Century.

From the University of Texas at Austin in the USA:

New ant species discovered in the Amazon likely represents oldest living lineage of ants

This new species of blind, subterranean, predatory ant, Martialis heureka, was discovered in the Amazon by Christian Rabeling at the University of Texas at Austin. It belongs to the first new subfamily of living ants discovered since 1923, and is a descendant of one of the first ant lineages to evolve over 120 million years ago. …

Rabeling collected the only known specimen of the new ant species in 2003 from leaf-litter at the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária in Manaus, Brazil.

He and his colleagues found that the ant was a new species, genus and subfamily after morphological and genetic analysis. Analysis of DNA from the ant’s legs confirmed its phylogenetic position at the very base of the ant evolutionary tree.

Ants evolved over 120 million years ago from wasp ancestors. They probably evolved quickly into many different lineages, with ants specializing to lives in the soil, leaf-litter or trees, or becoming generalists.

“This discovery lends support to the idea that blind subterranean predator ants arose at the dawn of ant evolution,” says Rabeling, a graduate student in the ecology, evolution and behavior program.

Rabeling does not suggest that the ancestor to all ants was blind and subterranean, but that these adaptations arose early and have persisted over the years.

“Based on our data and the fossil record, we assume that the ancestor of this ant was somewhat wasp-like, perhaps similar to the Cretaceous amber fossil Sphecomyrma, which is widely known as the evolutionary missing link between wasps and ants,” says Rabeling.

See also here.

Comment on this by Debbie’s Insects Blog in the USA:

The surprise find begs the question of what other evolutionary links still remain within the Amazon rainforest. With the continuing deforestation of this diverse and largely unexplored ecosystem, scientists are racing the clock to find more unidentified species.

See also here.

Lasius neglectus ants in Europe: here.

4 thoughts on “New strange ant species discovered in Brazil

  1. Pingback: New species discoveries in the Amazon | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Brazilian rancher murdered US environmentalist nun | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Henry Ford’s failed Amazon plans | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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