AskDefine | Define myrmecology

User Contributed Dictionary



From Greek myrmeco- "ant" and -logy "study (of)".


  1. : The study of ants.


study of ants
  • Finnish: muurahaistiede, myrmekologia
  • French: myrmécologie
  • Vietnamese: kiến học

Extensive Definition

Myrmecology (from Greek: μύρμεξ, myrmex, "ant"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of ants, a branch of entomology. Ants are often chosen as a study group to answer questions on the evolution of social systems. All ants are highly eusocial.

Early references to ants

Jewish Mosaic law
Said that any seeds found in the nests of ants must be given to the poor: In Southern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, there are numerous species of ants of the genera Pheidole and Messor which gather seeds and store them.
Solomon (Proverbs 6:6)
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." This refers to the fact that the ants are hard workers. A sluggard being a lazy person, Solomon said to work as the ants work.
Pliny lauded the industry of the ant working through the summer nights.
Claudius Aelianus admired the complex arrangements of the galleries and chambers in the nests of ants and compared these with the labyrinths of Greece and Crete.

Later studies

The similarities between primitive ponerine ants found in different continents is an important pointer to the periods when land bridges were extant and also to the nature of the pre-ant.

Related terms

Myrmecochorous (adj.) dispersed by ants.
Myrmecophagous (adj.) feeding on ants.
Myrmecophile (n.) an organism that habitually shares an ant nest . myrmecophilous (adj.), myrmecophily (n.)

See also


External links

myrmecology in Catalan: Mirmecologia
myrmecology in German: Myrmekologie
myrmecology in Spanish: Mirmecología
myrmecology in French: Myrmécologie
myrmecology in Italian: Mirmecologia
myrmecology in Lojban: manti saske
myrmecology in Japanese: アリ学
myrmecology in Polish: Myrmekologia
myrmecology in Portuguese: Mirmecologia
myrmecology in Russian: Мирмекология
myrmecology in Finnish: Myrmekologia
myrmecology in Turkish: Mirmekoloji
myrmecology in Urdu: نملیات
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