Thursday, 4 August 2016

New ant species Paratopula bauhinia (Golden Tree Ant) discovered

Date: August 3, 2016
Source: ResearchSEA

A research group in Hong Kong has described and named a new species of ant from Hong Kong, Paratopula bauhinia, or the rare "Golden Tree Ant."

The Insect Biogeography and Biodiversity research group led by Dr Benoit Guénard at the School of Biological Sciences, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has recently described and named a new species of ant from Hong Kong, Paratopula bauhinia, or the rare "Golden Tree Ant" in Asian Myrmecology, a peer-reviewed, yearly journal dedicated to the study of Asian ants.

A newly described species is a species previously unknown to science. The person who describes it has the right to name it. The new ant species discovered by the research team represents the 22nd ant species described from Hong Kong since 1858. The last one was in 2000. Descriptions of earlier species had to be dated back to 1928.

While some might think that new species are only discovered in deep pristine forests, this new ant species was found just a few hundred meters from HKU campus on the foothill of Lung Fu Shan Country Park during a night field course. The unusually large size of the ant (about 7mm long) and its golden appearance piqued the curiosity of Ms Ying Luo, a research assistant of the School of Biological Sciences, to collect it for further detailed inspection. Back at the laboratory, she and Dr Guénard realised that this ant was quite special, not only did the specimen represent the first record of the ant genus Paratopula for Hong Kong and southern China, it also represented a new species for science. Despite intensive collection efforts since its original collection, it has only been found at Lung Fu Shan Country Park and so the ant can be considered as endemic to Hong Kong Island. This new species is described in Asian Myrmecology by Ms Luo and Dr Guénard, along with the first description of the queen of another arboreal species, Rotastruma stenoceps.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails