New interactive map shows where the world’s ants are

antsmaps.org

New interactive map shows where the world’s ants are

Ever wonder where the ants are? Antmaps.org is here to tell you. The website features a series of interactive maps showing where each of the world's 15,000 or so known ant species and subspecies roam. The overview shows the total number of species found in each country or region. Greenland has no native ant species, whereas Queensland, Australia, has 1458. Users can search for species by name or select the subfamily, genus, and species from pull-down menus. The map shows where that species is native and where it has been introduced. There are also links to the online databases AntWeb and AntWiki for pictures and further information. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong in China and Japan’s Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology developed antmaps.org as a tool for professional and amateur myrmecologists—ant geeks—to quickly see the geographical distribution of ant species as gleaned from thousands of scientific publications. That information is now being compiled into a database that will also be linked to antmaps.org entries. The website has been available to ant researchers for several weeks but was formally announced to the media today in Hong Kong.