New ant species discovered

New ant species discovered

A close-up of 'Myopias striaticeps Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane'. (National Science Museum photo)
A close-up of 'Myopias striaticeps Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane'. (National Science Museum photo)

The National Science Museum (NSM) on Monday announced that its researchers had discovered five new species of ants in Southeast Asia.

NSM president Rawin Rawiwong said the research team were Weeyawat Jaitrong, Decha Wiwatwitaya and Seiki Yamane.

The goal of their research is to learn about biodiversity in the region and survey the health of the ecological habitat.

Mr Weeyawat said that these five species had been known but never recorded in the Southeast Asian region until now.

Of the five new species of ants, two were found Thailand's Tak and Nakhon Si Thammarat, while the three others were found in the Malaysian island of Borneo. They were named after the trio who found them.

The two species found in Thailand have been named Syscia chaladthanyakiji Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane, 2020 and Syscia reticularis Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane, 2020.

The three species found in Malaysia are Myopias etsukoae Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane; Myopias striaticeps Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane; and Myopias suwannaphaki Jaitrong, Wiwatwitaya et Yamane.

The NSM says researcher Bang-orn Changlom also discovered two species of snails in January this year. The Retilaculated Microsnail: Acinolaemus cryptidentatus was found in Mae Hong Son and the Muengon Microsnail: Acinolaemus mueangonensis was found in Chiang Mai.

Mr Bang-orn said the snails, which are vital to the limestone ecosystem, face the threat of extinction due to massive tourism, the cement industry, and the use of chemicals in farming.

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