Thiruvananthapuram: A new species of ant has been discovered from Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The new species belongs to the Tyrannomyrmex genus.
Tyrannomyrmex is a rare myrmicine ant genus found along the Indomalayan bio-region, with its range extending from southern India and Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia
The discovery was made by researchers Dr. Kalesh Sadasivan and Manoj Kripakaran of the Travancore National History Society Ant Research Group, Trivandrum.
The research paper on this discovery has been published in Zootaxa, an internationally acclaimed taxonomy journal.
The new species has been named as Tyrannomyrmex alii after Prof. Musthak Ali, an eminent Indian myrmecologist.
Myrmecology is the branch of entomology focusing on the scientific study of ants.
This species is the fourth one of this rare genus and the second one from India. The Western Ghats complex is one of the worlds’ major biodiversity hotspots. Both the Tyrannomyrmex species discovered from India are from the Western Ghats in Kerala.
The earlier one was Tyrannomyrmex dux Borowiec from Ponmudi.
Watch video on camera trap in Periyar Tiger Reserve: