Antweb: now with an extensive and growing fossil image database

Prionomyrmex janzeni, Baltic Amber (image: antweb.org)

The following announcement was sent in by Paleomyrmecologist Vincent Perrichot:

Fossil Ants (Antweb)

Regular users of Antweb may have noticed that a project named Fossil ants was added some months ago (www.antweb.org/fossil.jsp); a few technical issues prevented the imaged species to show up correctly, however, resulting in only a few visible species fully illustrated. These problems have been fixed and the full catalogue is now available online, with 68 out of the 661 fossil species imaged so far. Additional photographs will be added with time, pending the access to the specimens (most of species are known from a single specimen housed in many different institutions). So here it’s also a call to curators who have fossil ants in the collections of their institute, or researchers who described an extinct species, to send me high resolution photographs free of copyright to be uploaded online. When possible with a fossil, I try to follow the standard used on Antweb for recent species, i.e. providing the profile, dorsal, and head views, together with a closer view of the wing for alates, and the labels. So folks, any help is welcome, you will be credited for your photographs of course!

In addition to the taxonomic history provided from Bolton Catalogue, you will find information on the depository of the known material and the distribution of the species (sometimes differing from that given by Bolton in taxonomic history because he considered the age in the original description while the dating of some fossil deposits has been updated since then – Ex: Florissant, Colorado, was originally dated as Oligocene, but is now Late Eocene). Hope this new tool will help neontologists to increasingly consider fossils in their studies!

-Vincent Perrichot

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