Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ant Meeting: Österreichisches Myrmekologentreffen

During this year, there will be several ant meetings which I will list once they are posted.
The first this year is the Österreichisches Myrmekologentreffen
Montag, 7. März 2011, 900 – 1700 Uhr
Fakultätszentrum für Biodiversität
Rennweg 14, 1030 Wien

It has the following program:
ab 9:00 Ankunft und Kaffee
10:00 Begrüßung Konrad Fiedler
10: 20 – 12:00 Myrmekologische Forschung in Österreich
und angrenzenden Regionen
10:20 ‐ 10:40 J. Chlumský, Veronika Jílková, P. Koutecký, M. Štech
Dispersal possibilities and adaptations for myrmecochory
in genus Melampyrum
10:40 ‐ 11:00 Melanie Tista
Preliminary results on macroecological patterns in European
ant communities
11:00 ‐ 11:20 Herbert Zettel, Daniela Magdalena Sorger
Schnappkiefer, Widerhaken, blaue Piraten und andere Merkwürdigkeiten –
die Philippinen, die Galápagos‐Inseln Asiens
11:20 ‐ 11:40 Line V. Ugelvig
Pathogen response in ant societies is influenced by geneticdiversity
11:40 ‐ 12:00 Veronika Jílkov, L. Matějíček, J. Frouz
Changes in the pH and other soil chemical parameters in soil
surrounding wood ant (Formica polyctena) nests
12:00 – 13:30 Mittagspause
13:30 – 13:50 Florian M. Steiner, Birgit C. Schlick‐Steiner, Herbert Zettel
Die Entwicklung der Myrmecological News (vormals
Myrmecologische Nachrichten) zu einem international
beachteten Fachjournal
13: 50 – 15:10 Heimische Ameisenfauna
13:50 ‐ 14:10 Florian Glaser
Gefährdung und Schutz ostalpiner Ameisen und die
Verantwortlichkeit Österreichs – ein Aus‐ und Überblick
14:10 ‐ 14:30 Herbert C. Wagner
Zum faunistischen Stand der Ameisen Südösterreichs
14:30 ‐ 14:50 Erich Zormann
Artenvielfalt von Ameisen im Wienerwald
14:50 ‐ 15:10 Johann Ambach
Schwindende Vielfalt? – Eine Myrmekolologische
Bestandsaufnahme Oberösterreichs
15:10 ‐ 16:00 Kaffeepause
16:00 – 17:00 Heimische Ameisenfauna (Fortsetzung)
16:00 ‐ 16:20 Florian Glaser, Herbert C. Wagner
Die große Kerbameise (Formica exsecta) – Insekt des Jahres 2011
16:20 ‐ 16:40 Herbert C. Wagner
Ein neuer arboricoler Temnothorax für Österreich
16:40 ‐ 17:00 Melanie Tista
Sammelmethoden bei Ameisen – Ist eine Aufwandsreduktion möglich?

Please register before the end of Februrary 2011.
Mag. Melanie Tista, 01/4277‐57411

The meeting is organized by
Univ.‐Prof. Mag. Dr. Konrad Fiedler
Mag. Melanie Tista
Department für Biodiversität der Tiere
Universität Wien

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Overwintering of Ants

When I visited Genady Dlussky in Moscow in 1985, he told me about all the ecological research going on Magadan in the Fareast of the former Sowjet-Union. He explained the mechanisms ant use to survive up to -30degree C. Finally, 2010, a comprehensive publication Overwintering and Cold-hardiness of Ants in the Northeast of Asia is a comprehensive book
summing up 30 years of studies on the ecology and physiology of ants under extreme northern conditions, virtually at the northern boundaris of their geographical distribution.
It has lavish illustrations and an account for each species studied.

It is a very helpful summary and ought be a read well beyond ant ecologists: It covers another edge of the ants that is really amazing, and in fact a lot of the results, especially the physiology, might apply too other invertebrates living under these harsh conditions.

The book is available from Pensoft Publishers, Sofia.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Myrmica monograph

In the coming days a huge monograph "Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Old World" will be published.

It is the first taxonomic review of the entire Old World fauna of the widespread temperate ant genus Myrmica that is famed for its interactions with many social parasites of high nature conservation interest, e.g. Large Blue butterflies (Phengaris spp.)
This about 800 pages monograph is more than a traditional taxonomic review, it gives the history of the taxonomic treatment of Myrmica, summarizes the current knowledge of the social biology and ecology of the genus, analyses the zoogeography of the various species and outlines the author’s views on the evolution and speciation within the genus.
The authors currently recognize 142 extant and 5 extinct species from the Old World and they provide Identification Keys to the species for each of seven geographic regions. This should make the Keys more user-friendly for non-specialists.
The locations of the type specimens are noted in the taxonomic catalogue, which is arranged alphabetically by species, as are the accurate line-drawings of every species. These illustrate features such as the shape and sculpture of the head and body, used in the identification keys. This arrangement makes it easy to find the data for any particular species.
There is a full list of all names ascribed to genus Myrmica and a table of synonyms from among the valid names is provided. The etymology of many of the names is interesting and provides insights to thoughts of the original authors as does the short biographies are made for all authors of more than one valid species of Myrmica.
The authors believe that there are many species of Myrmica yet to be discovered, particularly in the Indo-Oriental regions and in the southern mountains of Eurasia. This book provides the essential starting point for future studies.
Radchenko is one of Europe’s leading ant taxonomists and an expert on the ant fauna of the Palaearctic, while Elmes is an ecologist and eco-physiologist who has made a particular study of Myrmica ants over a 45 year career.

Both authors, Elmes and Radchenko have already extensively published on the subject, and it is very helpful to get all their widely scattered publications in one large monograph. In the old tradition of ant myrmecologists, the monograph is pretty costly and not open access and thus it will as such not be widely accessible. The challenge will be how to process 800 pages and make the descriptions online accessible at Plazi to share already available Myrmica treatments, and thus complete all the treatments for the Old World species in places like EOL or antweb.

The details of the publication are as follows:

Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Old World
Alexander G. Radchenko and Graham W. Elmes
ca 800 pages, 332 figs, 162 maps; hardcover, 165 x 235 mm.

Editor: Natura optima dux Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
Issue data: December 2010

Price: 150 EUR + postage (after 31 January 2011)

Natura optima dux Foundation
Wilcza 64
00-679 Warszawa, Poland
fax 48 22 629 63 02