Monday, April 4, 2011

Martialis heureka – Ant from Mars (Semut dari Planet Mars)

Martialis heureka _ant from Mars 2
Martialis heureka, blind, subterranean, predatory ant, is a species of ant that was discovered in 2000 from the Amazon rainforest near Manaus, Brazil. It was described as a new species of ant and placed as the sole member of a new subfamily (Martialinae). The generic name means "from Mars" and was given due to its unusual morphology, and the species epithet heureka indicates the surprising discovery.

Two specimens were first discovered by Manfred Verhaagh of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2000, but they were damaged and it was only in 2003 that a new specimen was collected by Christian Rabeling, a graduate student of the University of Texas at Austin.

This is the first time that a new subfamily of ants with living species has been discovered since 1923 (other new subfamilies have been discovered from fossil ants).

Rabeling collected the only known specimen of the new ant species in 2003 from leaf-litter at the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária in Manaus, Brazil.

He and his colleagues found that the ant was a new species, genus and subfamily after morphological and genetic analysis. Analysis of DNA from the ant's legs confirmed its phylogenetic position at the very base of the ant evolutionary tree.

Ants evolved over 120 million years ago from wasp ancestors. They probably evolved quickly into many different lineages, with ants specializing to lives in the soil, leaf-litter or trees, or becoming generalists.

Classification of Martialis heureka - ant from Mars(klasifikasi ‘semut dari planet mars’)
Kingdom Animalia C. Linnaeus, 1758 – animals
Phylum Arthropoda Latreille, 1829 – arthropods
Class Insecta C. Linnaeus, 1758 – insects
Subclass Pterygota - Winged Insects
Infraclass Neoptera Martynov, 1923
Order Hymenoptera C. Linnaeus, 1758 - ants, bees, and wasps
Suborder Apocrita
Superfamily Vespoidea
Family Formicidae Latreille, 1809 – ants
Subfamily Martialinae C. Rabeling et al., 2008
Genus Martialis C. Rabeling & M. Verhaagh, in C. Rabeling et al., 2008
Species Martialis heureka C. Rabeling & M. Verhaagh, in C. Rabeling et al., 2008

Martialis heureka _ant from Mars 3
Martialis heureka _ant from Mars 4antphylo

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David Khoirul said...

Alien ants. They look scary.

daisugi said...

I think they look awesome, not scary hehe

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