Thursday, March 17, 2011

Resource Updates

I've just published a new tab up above called Identification and Distribution of Ants. In it I have listed almost all the known species of ants that can be found in North America as well as what region(s) they can be found. It is a work in progress and I'll eventually be going over each genus one by one as I have free time. My goal is to locate the studies that described each and every one of these species and find out what it was that made someone say "Oh Hah! This is a new species!" So eventually I'll post a little synopsis for each of these to act as a sort of home made key. If actual scientific keys exist online I'll be happy to link to those too. To say the least, this project will take several years to complete, and it's taken about two just to get here.

My species list is coming from the back of "Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera" which is a great resource. The Online Catalog of North American Ants also lists a few species not featured in that book and has some good descriptions for some of the ants, but not all, and is notably lacking the subfamily Myrmicinae, the largest one in North America!

All species names will eventually be clickable and lead to their page on AntWeb.org which has some of the best scientific photographs of ants around. Bugguide.net and Alexanderwild.com and other sources are also occasionally linked to for images of live specimens, but neither have a complete list of ants. AntWeb.org is at least run by one of the authors of "Ants of North America" so the list and the website typically work well together. It is a shame however, that Ant Web doesn't have more information than it does. It's still a great resource all the same, and frankly some sciences would do better to create a similar resource for their field. EOL.org is getting there, and on the topic of ants even uses some of Ant Web's photos but not all. 

No comments:

Post a Comment