Monday, March 7, 2011

Camponotus dunni, an ant species of South America named after Rob. R. Dunn

The biologist Rob R. Dunn at North Carolina State University is studying ants, parasites and other species [1]. He has one ant species, Camponotus dunni, named after him. In his book “Every Living Thing” he explains that the entomologist Bill Mackay named the species after him [2]. Dunn found this new species in the Cavinas area of the Bolivian Amazon. The indigenous language in that part of Bolivia is Cavineño. Dunn did explore ants there and the kowledge of the Cavineños about insects, ants in particular. His native guide, he writes, had names for about forty ant species out of the few hundred ant species around Cavinas.

There are over thousand species in the genus Camponotus, also called carpenter ants. A subset of Camponotus species and related references can be found on Wikipedia, but I couldn't locate Camponotus dunni in that list, when I looked on March 7, 2011. Is there any detailed Myrmecopedia?

Keywords: entomology, myrmecology, Amazonian forest in Bolivia, Cavineño

[1] Dee Shore: College Profile: Rob Dunn. North Carolina State University, September 2, 2010 [].
Rob R. Dunn: Every Living Thing. First Edition. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2009.
Axel Drefahl: Naming and knowing biological species. March 6, 2011.

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