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Biodiversity Blog

 

Featured Species: Hypoponera inexorata

This rare, mostly underground ant species was not known from UT’s Brackenridge Field Lab until this year, when Curator of Entomology Alex Wild found one by chance under a stone. He snapped this photograph, possibly the first photograph taken of H. inexorata in the field. Colonies are small and subterranean, often near other species of ants. The worker ant is also very small, measuring roughly 3 mm. Because of the size and nesting habits, this ant species is relatively uncommon in natural history collections.

This name was given by William Morton Wheeler in 1903. Wheeler was UT Austin’s first entomologist, teaching here from 1899 to 1903. He first acquired an interest in ants while working at UT and later progressed to become the world’s leading authority on ants at the American Museum of Natural History and Harvard University.

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