Revising our vision of ant biodiversity: Male ants of the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:12 AM
Portland Ballroom 255 (Oregon Convention Center)
Brendon Boudinot , Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA
Males are a neglected and poorly understood aspect of ant biodiversity. To operationalize males for systematic, ecological, and evolutionary study, male-based keys to and diagnoses of the ant subfamilies and genera of the New World are composed for the first time. Based on a global sample of taxa, a new diagnosis of the Formicidae is presented. Males all 12 subfamilies occurring in the New World are treated (16 global). At the generic level, 142 of 151 native and introduced genera are treated (324 global), including the first male descriptions nine genera. Several taxonomic actions are taken based on morphological and molecular data. Highlights of this research are discussed. A new glossary of ant morphology is presented, clarifying skeletal homologies of several challenging structures. This work represents the first hemisphere-wide treatment of male ants, providing the first treatment of the hyperdiverse Neotropical fauna, and opening up new methods for biodiversity surveys and new venues for ecological and evolutionary study by allowing male ants to be collected separate from workers.