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I would be delighted if you are interested to join the project. As yet, supporters include professionals such as museum curators as well as hobby entomologists. Together with my field assistants, I have collected more than 1,600 Vatesus specimens from colony emigrations of six Eciton, four Neivamyrmex, and one Labidus army ant species. In addition to that, specimens from colleagues and museums add another 500 specimens covering a broad geographic area: Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina (see distribution map on the right; black dots represent type material, red dots additional collection sites by supporters). This sounds like a remarkable collection. However, collections are scattered and symbionts of army ant have not been collected systematically, i.e. only few hosts have been collected in any population. To get a feeling about morphological and genetic variation within species, a good geographic coverage is essential and therefore more samples from Central and South America would greatly help to disentangle species boundaries. Furthermore, the Amazon basin is a black box regarding Vatesus - there are almost no Vatesus specimens available from this hyperdiverse area. The Field Museum in Chicago has some undetermined specimens from the Amazon but additional samples would help. So please contact me if you can provide us with additional specimens. We will contact respective governments for research and export permits to fulfill local guidelines and to agree with the Nagoya protocol. I am looking forward to hear from you.  

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Contact e-mail goes to:

Christoph von Beeren, PhD

Technical University Darmstadt

Ecological Networks

B1|08, Room 4

Schnittspanstraße 2

64287 Darmstadt


phone: +49 6151-16-22368

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