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Three rare species of ants discovered in Kerala's Western Ghats

Three rare species of ants discovered in Keralas Western Ghats

Thiruvananthapuram: Entomology researchers in Kerala have claimed to have discovered three new species of ants in the forests of the Western Ghats. The research was led by Dr Kalesh Sadasivan and Manoj Kripakaran as part of a project by the Travancore History Society's (TNHS) Ant Research Group (TARG).

Researchers say the newly discovered ants belong to genera Proceratium Roger, 1863, Zasphinctus Wheeler, 1918, and Vollenhovia Mayr, 1865.

According to the researchers, new proceratium — or rare ant — species found in the Western Ghats are forms of the original species found in Gondwana. While Proceratium species was found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Idukki, Zasphinctus was found in Agashtyamalai's Ponmudi hills and the Vollenhovia was found both at the Periyar reserve and Agasthyamalai.

Apart from the Proceratium genus, ants under the Zasphinctus genus are also not found in India. While they are found in the African region, the most number of species under this are recorded from the Australasian region (Australia and south west Pacific islands) with one species recorded from Thailand, The News Minute reports.

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TAGS:Rare antsWestern GhatsGenera Proceratium RogerZasphinctus WheelerVollenhovia Mayr
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