Invasion and Extinction in the West Indian Ant Fauna: Evidence from the Dominican Amber

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Science  19 Jul 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4710, pp. 265-267
DOI: 10.1126/science.229.4710.265


Of 37 genera and well-defined subgenera identified in the amber of the Dominican Republic (late Oligocene or early Miocene), 34 have survived somewhere in the New World tropics to the present, although the species studied thus far are extinct. Of the surviving genera and subgenera, 22 persist on Hispaniola. Fifteen genera and subgenera have colonized the island since amber times, restoring the number of genera and well-defined subgenera now present on Hispaniola to 37. A higher extinction rate has occurred in genera and subgenera that are either highly specialized or possess less colonizing ability, as evidenced by their restriction to the New World.

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