Ants of Madagascar: A guide to the 62 genera

Madagascar has over 1300 ant species, the result of > 80 million years of isolation from continental Africa and Asia. Two of the most aggressive ant groups found in Africa and Asia, army ants (Aenictus and Dorylus) and arboreal weaver ants (Oecophylla; also Polyrhachis) are absent in Madagascar, and this allowed striking radiation of other lineages. A new ant field guide by Brian L. Fisher and Christian Peeters covers their natural history and ecology, distribution patterns, and how to identify the different genera.

A Photoblog compiled by Christian Peeters


Brian Fisher and his local team have systematically sampled the island since 1993. Starting in 2004, Christian Peeters joined him on 11 fieldtrips during which we set up field laboratories to study live colonies that were later brought back to Paris. We have included many findings on colony organization, some unpublished, about several key genera.

Myrmecology in Madagascar is also about exploration and memorable adventures! Many remaining areas of natural forests can only be reached after hours of walking or pirogue… (not mentioning the challenging roads!)

Their Guide is available from NHBS and University of Chicago Press.

  • Tetraponera manangotra. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Malagidris workers in funnel  entrance of their nest. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Malagidris funnel entrances. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Off to the hills for several days of camping and collecting. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Our fleet of seven pirogues on their way to an exquisite bit of wilderness. (© Christian Peeters)
  • One of our camps in the middle of a pristine lowland forest. (© Brian Fisher)
  • There can never be too many pooters when collecting a colony of fast-moving Lioponera sp. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Lioponera workers on their way to raid a Pheidole colony. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Aphaenogaster nest in tree. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Our laboratory at 500 m altitude in Galoka moist forest. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Crossing a large river without a bridge. (© Christian Peeters)
  • A village in Madagascar. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Lucky to find local inhabitants to get us out of tight spots! (© Christian Peeters)
  • Crossing a much bigger flooded river with the help of an entire village. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Long hikes until reaching the nests of the ants... (© Brian Fisher)
  • Before finding the ants, you need to get to where the ants live... (© Christian Peeters)
  • Stuck in the mud for over an hour... (© Christian Peeters
  • Going back to civilization ... (© Brian Fisher)
  • ... with dozens of live colonies, in the bag, shaded by ferns. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Lioponera workers returning with Pheidole brood in Midongy. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Strumigenys workers from Midongy. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Madagascar ant guide cover
  • Tetraponera manangotra. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Malagidris workers in funnel  entrance of their nest. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Malagidris funnel entrances. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Off to the hills for several days of camping and collecting. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Our fleet of seven pirogues on their way to an exquisite bit of wilderness. (© Christian Peeters)
  • One of our camps in the middle of a pristine lowland forest. (© Brian Fisher)
  • There can never be too many pooters when collecting a colony of fast-moving Lioponera sp. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Lioponera workers on their way to raid a Pheidole colony. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Aphaenogaster nest in tree. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Our laboratory at 500 m altitude in Galoka moist forest. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Crossing a large river without a bridge. (© Christian Peeters)
  • A village in Madagascar. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Lucky to find local inhabitants to get us out of tight spots! (© Christian Peeters)
  • Crossing a much bigger flooded river with the help of an entire village. (© Christian Peeters)
  • Long hikes until reaching the nests of the ants... (© Brian Fisher)
  • Before finding the ants, you need to get to where the ants live... (© Christian Peeters)
  • Stuck in the mud for over an hour... (© Christian Peeters
  • Going back to civilization ... (© Brian Fisher)
  • ... with dozens of live colonies, in the bag, shaded by ferns. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Lioponera workers returning with Pheidole brood in Midongy. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Strumigenys workers from Midongy. (© Brian Fisher)
  • Madagascar ant guide cover

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