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Picture of the Day

Alternate mechanism of species formation picks up support, thanks to a South American ant

Pictured at left is the queen ant of the parasitic species Mycocepurus castrator. This ant, only found in a single patch of eucalyptus trees on the São Paulo State University campus in Brazil, branched off from its original species while living in the same colony, something thought rare in current models of evolutionary development. “Most new species come about in geographic isolation,” said Christian Rabeling, assistant professor of biology at the University of Rochester. “We now have evidence that speciation can take place within a single colony.”

Visit Website | Image credit: Christian Rabeling/University of Rochester