Ooceraea Joshii- New Ant Species Discovered in Kerala
Recently, two new species of a rare ant genus Ooceraea have been discovered in India. The species were found in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- The newly discovered ant species of the Ooceraea genus differ from others in the genus by the number of antennal segments.
- One of the two ant species has been named Ooceraea joshii. This species was found in Kerala’s Periyar Tiger Reserve.
- The name Ooceraea joshii has been given in the honor of Prof. Amitabh Joshi.
- Amitabh Joshi is a biologist from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR).
- JNCASR is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
- The two new ant species are the first species that have ten-segmented antennae in the genus.
- They were spotted by a team led by Punjabi University’s Prof. Himender Bharti.
- At present, Ooceraea genus has 14 species and out of this, 8 species have nine-segmented antennae, while 5 have eleven- segmented antennae and 1 species has eight-segmented antennae.
- There are two species of the genus in India so far; one with nine-segmented antennae and the other with eleven-segmented antennae.
The findings of the discovery of the new ant species have been published in the ZooKeys journal.