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Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue of the Ants of the World, published in 1995, was the first attempt in more than one hundred years to collect all taxonomic decisions for ants worldwide, including extinct as well as extant taxa. One reviewer said of it, "There is no longer an excuse for nomenclatural mistakes, since all past decisions are recorded here. All future revisions will use this reference as a point of departure." Now Gary Alpert, Philip Ward, and Piotr Naskrecki have joined Bolton to produce a completely updated and even more comprehensive edition of Bolton's monumental work.
The new edition incorporates all taxonomic papers--from 1758 through 2005--on 14,550 species and subspecies of ants. The CD allows every valid species name to be linked to the primary taxonomic citation and to all subsequent taxonomic literature that is relevant. As was true of the earlier edition, both fossil and living ants are covered from the species level up through the subgenus, genus, tribe, and subfamily rank. Each species description also records the caste--worker, queen, male, soldier, or minor worker--which was described, along with the page number and any illustrations. Ant larvae descriptions and chromosome papers can be searched within the data set. The ant's type locality on a country-by-country basis can also be queried from this catalogue.
With his colleagues, Bolton has published this CD-ROM that updates his book New General Catalogue of the Ants of the World (1995). This update is a comprehensive, searchable database that includes more than 9,700 references to ants published from 1758 to 2005. The catalog covers nearly 11,500 species in 23 subfamilies, with an additional 600 extinct species. This easy-to-use database is searchable by the current species name, the original combination, higher taxonomic categories, validity, author, year, IUCN Red List status, and the type locality by country. The species index is color-coded so that valid versus junior names and fossil taxa can be readily distinguished. The literature source for information on the different castes and karyotype of a given species is provided. Anyone wishing to quickly identify the current name of a species or to resolve taxonomic questions should find this database useful...It will be invaluable for specialists in ant systematics and researchers with a special technical interest in this group. -- R. E. Lee Jr. Choice 20070801
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Barry Bolton, now retired, is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and Myrmecologist, The Natural History Museum, London. Gary Alpert is Entomologist for Environmental Health and Safety, Harvard University. Philip S. Ward is Professor of Entomology at the University of California at Davis. Piotr Naskrecki is Director of the Invertebrate Diversity Initiative of Conservation International and Research Associate with the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He is the author of The Smaller Majority (Harvard).