Database content:
SEM images:3382
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Last update:10 April 2008


The primary goal of this dataset was to study the response of subtropical ant communities to rainfall and soil conditions. The Paraguay dry Chaco, with little altitudinal and temperature variation over a large area, offers a great opportunity to study the effects of these factors. 

Between 2001 and 2004, eleven localities were sampled along an aridity gradient ranging from 1000 to 400mm over a distance of 400 km. This research resulted in a phD dissertation (Delsinne 2007; Delsinne et al. 2007, 2008) and in an ant collection of over 50,000 specimens. 

The definitive identification of a series of morphospecies is still under progress. Locally-defined species were given a temporary code [e.g. sp.06 (PAG)] and do not necessarily represent new species. The objective of this website is to provide a public access to the collection in order to facilitate progresses in the knowledge of ant species diversity, distribution and geographic variations.


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Carlos Aguilar, Maurice Leponce, John Kochalka in front of the Paraguay Natural History Museum Bolivar Garcete, Victor Filippi, Thibaut Delsinne Jacques Delabie

We thank John Kochalka, Bolivar Garcete-Barrett, Victor Filippi, Jorge Jara, César Bénilez, Carlos Aguilar Julio from the "Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay", the guards from Teniente Enciso National Park and Véronique Olivier for their help during fieldwork or administrative procedures. Alex Wild from University of California at Davis and Jacques H.C. Delabie from the "laboratório de Mirmecologia" of the USC-CEPLAC at Itabuna (Brazil) supervised a part of the ant identifications. This study was made possible by financial support from the "Fonds pour la Formation à la Recherche dans l' Industrie et l' Agriculture", the "Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - FNRS" (Belgium), the "Fonds Léopold III pour l' Exploration et la Conservation de la Nature" and , the "Fonds David et Alice van Buuren".


Delsinne, T. (2007) Structure of ant assemblages along an aridity gradient in the paraguayan dry Chaco. Université Libre de Bruxelles / Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. phD thesis, 229 p. Pdf (15MB)

Delsinne, T.; Leponce, M.; Roisin, Y. 2007. Spatial and temporal foraging overlaps in a Chacoan ground foraging ant assemblage. J. Arid Environments. 71:29-44

Delsinne, T.; Leponce, M.; Theunis, L.; Braet, Y.; Roisin, Y. 2008. Rainfall influence the ant sampling in dry forests. Biotropica, in press.