last update:
Sept.2007

 

Alex Wild 

Research

The Ants of Paraguay

Atta laevigataDinoponera australisPseudomyrmex kuenckeli

Paraguay is a California-sized nation in the heart of subtropical South America. Here, elements of the Argentine Pampas, the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest, the Brazilian Cerrado, and the Arid Chaco combine in a unique ecotone that includes two dozen army ant species, rich communities of canopy-dwelling twig ants (Pseudomyrmex spp.) and turtle ants (Cephalotes spp.), and the most diverse assemblage of fungus-gardening attine ants in the world. Paraguay's expansive flood plains include parts of the native range of several major cosmopolitan pest species. These include the red fire ant Solenopsis invicta, the Argentine ant Linepithema humile, and the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata.

Since 1995 I have been cataloguing the ant fauna of this diverse country. Species records (541 as of September 2007; Chao-2 estimate of species richness 698 +/- 35) have been compiled from the published literature and from about 20 entomological museums in South America, North America, and Europe.  The complete species list, along with specimen records, specimen images, and natural history information, is being placed online as part of the centralized Antweb database:

The Ants of Paraguay at Antweb.org



Map of known ant collection 
localities in Paraguay

Species accumulation curve for Paraguayan ants, with Chao-2 estimate of total species richness.



Publications:
  • Wild, A.L. 2007. A Catalogue of the Ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa (in press).
  • Wild, A. L. 2003 (2002). The genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Paraguay. Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay 14: 1-18.  [download PDF]

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