I have not done much ant research this year. The ever-expanding photography business, the beekeeping course, and the braconid project have occupied most of my time. But I’ve been able to participate in smaller myrmecological projects, one of which was published online this week. It is a small taxonomic paper co-authored with Thibaut Delsinne and others summarizing what is known about the enigmatic myrmicine ant genus Oxyepoecus in Paraguay, with descriptions of two new species:
Abstract: We discuss the diversity and distribution of the ant genus Oxyepoecus in Paraguay. Oxyepoecus inquilinus is recorded for the first time, and new distribution data are given for O. rastratus and O. vezenyii. Published data for O. bruchi, O. rastratus, O. reticulatus, and O. vezenyii are summarized. Two new species are described (O. bidentatus n. sp. and O. striatus n. sp.), and a key to the workers of the seven Paraguayan Oxyepoecus species is provided. At Teniente Enciso National Park, four species cooccur. This locality appears as a promising site for studies documenting the biology of this poorly known ant genus, and because of the IUCN “vulnerable“ Red List classification of O. inquilinus, the importance of the Teniente Enciso National Park for biological conservation is clearly established.
Incidentally- because I know I have trouble with this- the genus name is commonly pronounced “OX-eee-PEE-cus”.
source: T. Delsinne, W. Mackay, A. Wild, Y. Roisin, and M. Leponce, “Distribution and Diversity of the Cryptic Ant Genus Oxyepoecus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) in Paraguay with Descriptions of Two New Species,” Psyche, vol. 2012, Article ID 594302, 8 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/594302