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A guidebook on Brazilian ants

Brazil is home to 31% of the world’s ant genera

Júlio ChaulBrazil is home to 31% of the world’s ant generaJúlio Chaul

Brazil has at least 111 genera and about 1,500 species of ants, ranking the nation as the world’s biodiversity champ in terms of ant genera and runner-up in number of species. And now it is easier for the general public to find information about the tremendous variety of ant forms in Brazil: in December 2015, the National Institute for Research on the Amazon (Inpa), in Manaus, released the Guia para os gêneros de formigas do Brasil (Guidebook on ant genera in Brazil), written by seven scientists. According to the book – at present available only in an open-access online version – Brazil is home to 31% of the world’s known genera of ants. “In most cases, genera group together sets of species that behave similarly in nature while also displaying their own unique characteristics,” reads the book’s forward, co-authored by Carlos Roberto F. Brandão, of the University of São Paulo’s Zoology Museum, and Rogério Rosa da Silva, of the Emílio Goeldi Museum of Pará. “Adopting this category is appropriate in studies that try to identify how qualities shared by phylogenetically similar groups of species eventually diversified and established themselves during the evolutionary history of lineages.” The guidebook offers basic information on biology, ecology, and evolution, together with images of all the genera. It can be downloaded in PDF format at http://bit.ly/1To7wPe.

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