Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher Starr

Subterranean Ants

  • Mark K. L. Wong
  • Benoit GuénardEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_180-1
One of the most conspicuous ecological patterns in ants, especially in tropical regions, is their vertical stratification into distinct arboreal, ground-surface, and subterranean assemblages. The latter are perhaps the least well studied, regarded by some as a frontier in the study of ant diversity [ 18]. Subterranean ant assemblages harbor a diversity of species with distinct ecologies, including several groups (e.g., Amblyoponinae, Leptaniliane, Martialinae, Proceratiinae) that are evolutionarily distinct from the 90% of species in the formicoid complex [ 21] and which are important for understanding the early evolution and diversification of ants after the Cretaceous period [ 10]. Nonetheless, such formicoid taxa as Acropyga (Formicinae), Carebara (Myrmicinae), and Solenopsis (Myrmicinae) are also well represented among subterranean ants with many hypogaeic species (Fig. 1).
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina