Ants of the Panga Ecological Station, a Cerrado Reserve in Central Brazil

Gabriela Procópio Camacho, Heraldo Luis Vasconcelos


Species lists are an invaluable tool for a more comprehensive analysis of diversity patterns. Such lists, when derived from a comprehensive sampling effort, can indicate the presence of rare, threatened, or ecologically important species. This study aimed to generate a species list of the ants of the Panga Ecological Station, a protected Cerrado reserve in southeastern Brazil. This list was generated through taxonomic identification or through unification of the morphospecies codes of all specimens collected at the reserve in ten different studies since 2003. Information about the types of habitat and strata of occurrence of each species or morphospecies was also compiled. The data presented here represents one of the most intensive ant inventories conducted in the Brazilian Cerrado. We recorded 277 ant species belonging to 58 genera and nine subfamilies. This number is 1.63 to 3.69 times higher than the number of species recorded in other Cerrado localities surveyed so far. More species were collected in the savanna (249 species) than in the forest habitats (108 species), and more species were collected on ground (226 species) than in arboreal vegetation (117 species). Taxonomic identification was possible for 171 of the 277 species collected. Three of the named species are recorded for the first time in Brazil. Among the 106 unidentified species, at least six of them represent new, undescribed species. Together, these results highlight the conservation potential of this Cerrado reserve.


ant inventories; ant diversity; Formicidae; species distribution; Neotropical savannas

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