Dear Reader,

These pages are dedicated to the ants of Poring, Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia, the place with the world's highest ant diversity:
642 species of ants from 82 genera and eight subfamilies have been collected within a few hectares!

This breathtaking biodiversity is extensively studied by researchers of the German Research Group in Poring Hot Spring, headed by Prof. K. Eduard Linsenmair, University of Würzburg and Prof. Ulrich Maschwitz, University of Frankfurt. Research focuses on mechanisms that are responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity. Our field studies have been carried out in close cooperation with the Research Department of SABAH PARKS, which is running the Kinabalu National Park in East-Malaysia and with Prof. Maryati Mohamed of the Institute for Tropical Biology & Conservation of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah; both supported our research strongly (see credits!).

All habitats and strata of the rain forests in Poring have been sampled, resulting in two large ant collections: one at Kinabalu Park Head Quarters and the other in the Zoological Collection of the Biocenter at the University of Würzburg. Here we present a first glimpse into these collections.
Although research is still in progress we want to share with you the immense ant species richness of the Malaysian rain forests:
on this website 368 species of ants are presented in thousands of high resolution photographs!

Ants have been collected between 1991 and 2002 during the studies of Andreas Floren, Carsten Brühl, Stefanie Berghoff, Armin Götzke, Elke Aug, Rainer Kern, Martin Gossner, and Martin Pfeiffer. Carsten, who worked on litter ants along an elevational gradient in Kinabalu Park, created the würzburg ant collection by merging collections from different projects in the area, by comparing all sampled taxa and contacting taxonomists of the different groups.
This resulted in a publication on the stratification of ants around Poring Hot Springs (Brühl et al. 1998). Other substantial contributions to this collection came from the projects of Andreas, working on canopy arthropods, and Steffi, focusing on soil inhabiting ants. Additional records to Poring's species list were contributed by Annette Malsch and Katsuyuki Eguchi.

"AntBase" wants to give you a look inside our insect boxes, an impression of the fascinating variety of ants in the tropical forests, and an inside view in the work of taxonomists and ecologists. Which ant species live in the Bornean rain forests? Here you can see them, looking over scientists' shoulders.

While our ecology pages are still under construction, our systematic pages are ready for presentation,although we only present a subset of the species. However, in contrast to other ant picture bases we also show species that still have no names to demonstrate species richness and radiation of ant communities and to bring you to the frontier of our research, just between the specimens. Check it out!

Martin Pfeiffer
(AntBase Editor)