The formicidae of Borneo (Insecta: Hymenoptera): A preliminary species list

Martin Pfeiffer, Dirk Mezger, Shingo Hosoishi, Bakhtiar Effendi Yahya, Rudolf J. Kohout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


More than ninety years after Wheeler's 1919 "Ants of Borneo," we present a comprehensive list of the Bornean ant fauna, recorded in the states of Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia), and Kalimantan (Indonesia). Our critical review of ant literature resulted in a catalogue of 97 ant genera with 717 valid species and 52 additional subspecies of ants from 12 subfamilies, including eight genera for which, up to now, only morphospecies have been recorded in Borneo. The subfamilies Myrmicinae (315) and Formicinae (213) comprised the most species; the most speciose genera were Polyrhachis (98) and Strumigenys (71), followed by Pheidole, Camponotus and Crematogaster. However, half of the Bornean ant genera included only one or two species, for example, the endemic monotypic genera Anomalomyrma, Bregmatomyrma, Ishakidris, Loweriella, Secostruma and Tetheamyrma. Ant taxonomic research in Borneo dates back to the nineteen century and has resulted in 418 type descriptions, of which 390 are currently valid. Since many habitats of Borneo have still not been effectively sampled, the actual number of Bornean ant species may be much higher; we estimate that at least 1,100 species are to be expected. As destruction of natural habitat on Borneo is accelerating, great conservation efforts must urgently be made if current ant diversity is to be saved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-58
Number of pages50
JournalAsian Myrmecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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