What is it about?

The paper describes the larvae of different development phases of two closely-related ants which can be found under stones in gardens in the lower Hymalaias. Their structures are shown in rich details, and minute differences noted.

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Why is it important?

High mountains are harsh places to live. Some insect species have developed unique adaptations to survive under such conditions. Understanding the morphology of the most fragile life stages of such bugs is crucial to establish how ants can survive in different locations. Plus, larval morphology might provide additional tools to help identify different ant species, which is too often a difficult task.


This was a precious opportunity for international collaboration. I have been doing ant larval descriptions since over 15 years, and it is good to witness more colleagues joining in and the field taking traction. There is still so much to be done. Next, we would like to correlate several of the novel morphologies with poorly-studied related genera, such as Messor and Pogonomyrmex. What else is there to show? Ants are always impressive!

Dr Eduardo G P Fox

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Larval instar estimation and ultra‐structural analysis of Aphaenogaster cristata (Forel, 1902) and Aphaenogaster pachei (Forel, 1906) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Himalayas, Entomological Science, November 2023, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/ens.12563.
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