First evidence of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the early Pleistocene of Madeira Island (Portugal) - MNHN - Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle Access content directly
Journal Articles Historical Biology Year : 2023

First evidence of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the early Pleistocene of Madeira Island (Portugal)

Carlos Góis-Marques
Pedro Correia
André Nel
José Madeira
Miguel Menezes de Sequeira

Abstract

To be successfully established on oceanic islands, native ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have to migrate from the mainland or from nearby islands, crossing the ocean barriers, to find a suitable habitat. Despite the general interest on oceanic islands biotas, nothing is known about the deep-time migration and settling of native ants in these insular ecosystems. Palaeoentomological studies on oceanic islands that could provide palaeobiological information on Formicidae are scarce. Here, we describe and illustrate the first fossil of an ant from the Macaronesian archipelagos (Atlantic Ocean), based on a partial forewing found within 1.3 Ma (Calabrian, Pleistocene) lacustrine sediments from Madeira Island, Portugal. Although unidentifiable beyond the family level, this fossil record provides a minimum age for the presence of ants in the Madeira archipelago. Palaeoecologically, this record indicates the presence of suitable habitats for ants during the early Pleistocene.
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mnhn-04038983 , version 1 (21-03-2023)

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Carlos Góis-Marques, Pedro Correia, André Nel, José Madeira, Miguel Menezes de Sequeira. First evidence of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the early Pleistocene of Madeira Island (Portugal). Historical Biology, In press, ⟨10.1080/08912963.2022.2152688⟩. ⟨mnhn-04038983⟩
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