Acrobat Ants, Crematogaster spp., are predominantly tree-dwelling Ants found around the world, but most common in tropical regions. They are distinguished by having a heart-shaped abdomen, which they raise when alarmed, and which gives them the alternative name St Valentine Ants. Most Acrobat Ants are predatory, and in particular many species are specialist predators of Wasps, however some species form mutualistic relationships with certain types of tree, which provide the Ants with food in return for protection against herbivores and parasites provided by the aggressive Ants.
In a paper published in the European Journal of Taxonomy on 24 November 2017, Shingo Hoshoishi and Kazuo Ogata of the Institute of Tropical Agriculture at Kyushu University, describe two new species of Acrobat Ants fro Cambodia and Malaysian Borneo.
The first new species is named Crematogaster khmerensis, meaning 'from Cambodia' (Khmer is an old name for Cambodia). The species is described from four Worker Ants collected in Kampong Thom Province in the central part of the country. These are brown in colour with two spines on their thorax and eleven segmented antennae.
Crematogaster khmerensis, worker, body in lateral view. Hoshoishi & Ogata (2017).
The second new species is named Crematogaster pfeifferi, in honour of Martin Pfeiffer, who collected the specimens from which the species is described. The species is collected from four Worker Ants collected from Sabah State in Malaysian Borneo. This species also has two spines on their thorax and eleven segmented antennae, though it is a darker brown and has more hairs around its mouth.
Crematogaster pfeifferi, worker, body in lateral view. Hoshoishi & Ogata (2017).
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