Oecophylla leakeyi

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Species of weaver ant (subfamily Formicinae) whose early Miocene remains, from Mfwangano Island (L. Victoria), illustrate the early development of ant society. Remains of 366 ants were discovered in one spot, with castes well differentiated and represented in the same proportions as in modern representatives of the genus. Larvae and pupae were discovered; and some workers were still attached to modern leaf fragments. Other Oecophylla species, preserved in amber, are known from the Oligocene of northern Europe, but none in a colony deposit like the O. leakeyi discovery. At the present time species of Oecophylla live in Africa and tropical Asia.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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