Aust tropics could be hotspot for ants

Countless numbers a lot more ant species are probable to be living in northern Australia than initial considered, tough recognized scientific knowledge about variety in the tropics.

Charles Darwin College researchers say some ant sorts thought to be a solitary species are basically 600 diverse species of the insect.

Ecologist Alan Andersen explained it indicates there could be more than 5000 species of ants in the monsoonal tropics, creating it the world’s richest region for ants.

“The extent of unrecognised range of species is unbelievable in our monsoonal tropics,” he reported on Tuesday.

“We are not conversing about a few or 4 new species, but thousands of them.”

The findings clearly show ant populations in the monsoonal tropics are some of the world’s most diverse.

“This is just scratching the floor of ant variety in northern Australia,” Prof Andersen stated

“The variety is totally unappreciated.”

Researchers used a blend of morphology, genetics, and geographic distribution to different various species.

“In one lure for the duration of a collecting excursion we recorded 27 diverse species of ants,” Prof Andersen claimed.

“An place the sizing of an ordinary suburban house block is frequently dwelling to a lot more than 100 different species of ants.”

Prof Andersen explained the success dispelled some assumptions about worldwide designs of biodiversity.

“Peak ant diversity is generally regarded to happen in tropical rainforests, significantly in the Amazon Basin and in South-East Asia,” he claimed.

“Our investigate has entirely flipped that notion on its head.”

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