The Ants of Christmas Island

On this Christmas Day, Americans across the country come together to celebrate the national holiday in their own way. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Agnostics appreciate a day off from work. Myrmecologists dwell on the ants of Christmas Island.

This is the location of Christmas Island:

christmasisland

One of the earliest treatments of ants on this island is found in Horace Donisthorpe‘s renowned 1935 Christmas classic, The Ants of Christmas Island.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-10-19-46-pm
A picture from the original The Ants of Christmas Island

Inspired by this joyous tale of biological diversity, many writers over the past century have expanded upon the original Christmas Island story. The compilation of this work is now easily accessible using AntMaps. So, tend the fire in your fireplace, curl up on the couch, and immerse yourself in the ant diversity of Christmas Island.

The Ants of Christmas Island, Illustration by AntWeb

Brachyponera – 1 species

b_christmasi
Aptly-named Brachyponera christmasi

Camponotus – 2 species

c_andrewsi
Camponotus andrewsi
c_melichloros
Camponotus melichloros (missing a gaster)

Erromyrma – 1 species

e_latinodis
Erromyrma latinodis

Hypoponera – 1 species

h_confinis
Hypoponera confinis

Leptogenys – 1 species

l_harmsi
Leptogenys harmsi

Lioponera – 1 species

l_longitarsus
Lioponera longitarsus

Monomorium – 2 species

m_floricola
Monomorium floricola
m_orientale
Monomorium orientale

Odonomachus – 1 species

o_smillimus
Odontomachus simillimus

Parvaponera – 1 species

p_darwinii
Parvaponera darwinii

Plagiolepis – 1 species

p_exigua
Plagiolepis exigua

Platythyrea – 1 species

p_parallela
Platythyrea parallela

Strumigenys – 1 species

s_godeffroyi
Strumigenys godeffroyi

Technomyrmex – 1 species

t_vitiensis
Technomyrmex vitiensis

Tetramorium – 6 species

t_bicarinatum
Tetramorium bicarinatum
t_lanuginosum
Tetramorium lanuginosum
t_pacificum
Tetramorium pacificum
t_smithi
Tetramorium smithi
t_tonganum
Tetramorium tonganum
t_walshi
Tetramorium walshi

AND LAST…

The invader…

a_gracilipes
Anoplolepis gracilipes, the yellow crazy ant

 

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