Discovered Ant Species Named After Scientist

A new species of ant was discovered in the Northern Territory by Dr. Ben Hoffman, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO), at Rio Tinto’s mining lease near Nhulunbuy.

The ant species was discovered in a rehabilitated section of the bauxite mine in the Northern Territory.

According to Dr Hoffman, several new ant species were found in the region, and a total of 98 different species were collected and kept at the ant collection in Darwin.

“We are regularly collecting new species and we have no idea how many species are out there because we keep on finding new ones.”

Amongst the different species collected, one was was very interesting. Dr Hoffman said one particular species has enormous bull like horned spines on the back of its body.  The species was identified to belong to the group genus ‘Polyrhachis’ meaning many spines.

Polyrhachis, according to a review of the ant genus polyrhachis at the sub-generic level by Akey C.F.Hung, states that Polyrhachis is a large genus containing about 500 nominal forms.

Dr. Hoffman named the identified species as the Kohout spiny ant, after scientist Rudy Kohout, who has published several papers and reviews on genus polyrhachis.

The Kohouts spiny ant is kept with the other species, at the main ant collection in Darwin.   

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