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There is a classic work by E. O. Wilson, who worked in the Peruvian Amazon, and he records in a single tree there were forty-three species of ants, and this is more than you will find in the complete British Isles, which means England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We really don’t know how many species of ants there are in the Amazon, but in the Neotropics, which means the Amazon and other parts of Latin America, we know that there are about 3,000 species of ants. I guess that more than half occur in the Amazon. These are the number of “described” species, and we guess that we are going to get (at least) two times, or three times more, in the near future. So I would say that 3,000 species is a good guess for the Amazon.

PTK note: Dr. Vasconcelos was one of many Brazilian researchers who told us, somewhat to our surprise, that often Brazilian students know little about the Amazon, given the vastness of the nation and the vastness of the rainforest. He thought they might be very interested in the topic, rather than being bored by too much familiarity!

Heraldo’s Journals Leaf Cutter Ants  1   2   3   4