New species of ‘Troglobiotic (cave-dwelling) Ant’ discovered in Japan

Release date: 2018.07.30


Research Results Life & Health

A new troglobiotic (true cave-dwelling) ant species, Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa sp. nov. is discovered and described from a limestone cave on the island of Okinawa (Okinawa-jima), Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. This is the first discovery of a troglobiotic ant in Japan and the second verified record worldwide. This species has only been found in a cave area with heavy guano deposits, and some worker ants were observed carrying guano. The evidence for categorizing this new species as troglobiont is discussed.

For more information about this research, see “Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa sp. nov.: the first troglobiotic ant from Japan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae),” Takeru Naka & Munetoshi Maruyama, Zootaxa (2018), DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.1.10

Fig. 1. New cave ant species Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa

Fig. 2. Ditto, specimens photos

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