Welcome to the Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography Laboratory!

Ant Headshots

     We are a group of ecologists interested in various aspects of the diversity of life. Our research seeks to answer the following questions. Where are the most species-rich regions of the world? How can some regions sustain thousands of species while others have only a few dozen? Were today’s most diverse regions as diverse 10, 50, or 100 million years ago? Do different groups of organisms follow the same diversity patterns?  What effects have human changes on species richness and composition?

     These “basic” questions are still poorly understood today, despite the fact that we live in a biodiversity crisis where species go extinct daily.

    To address these questions, we study some of the most fascinating and ecologically important organisms: ants!  In the following pages, we introduce aspects of our research on large-scale patterns of ant diversity, community ecology, biological invasion, behavioral ecology, and foraging ecology. We also present some of our interests in community outreach and macro photography.

     We are based in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong.

     To contact us, please Email Benoit Guénard at: zeroben@gmail.com


  • The new Hong Kong ant, Paratopula bauhinia, got some good coverage in the local medias.
  • Big week for ants in the Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography laboratory with two papers describing new species of Paratopula from Hong Kong by Ying and Myrmecina from Singapore by Mark (well done folks!) and the release of a 20 minutes documentary on our work on ants in Hong Kong in the Pearl Report!
  • And 2! The second publications describing a new species from Singapore by Mark was just accepted while his second article on Aenictus was released yesterday in Annales Zoologici 
  • Two new papers coming from the lab on this beginning of 2016. The first checklist of ants from India with a presentation state by state and a new Leptanilla species described with our own Mark Wong from Singapore. Both articles are published in Zookeys.
  • Very nice paper lead by Eli Sarnat on the introduced species of Pheidole around the world published in Zookeys. Another great contribution of the GABI database.
  • Our latest paper on the evolution of the biogeography of ant communities over the Cenozoic is out in the Journal of Biogeography.
  • antmaps.org is now alive. Visit it to discover the distribution of all ant taxa!
  • The last video on how to collect ants and other leaf litter arthropods is now online thanks to Ying. Check it out!
  • Our latest publication is out this week, based on a 2-weeks survey we did in Xishuangbanna in 2013. 40 new ant records from Yunnan, 17 new from China, great pictures and one of the first direct application of GABI for discovering new ants. Worth taking a look in Zookeys (in open access)
  • The end of the year 2014 came with a new important addition for the lab: a microscope imaging station. Here are some of the first pictures to be produced from a species collected this past fall. Enjoy!

Stigmatomma rothneyi Hong Kong

  • Our first Winkler extractors from Hong Kong Island. Some really cool results already thanks to Mark Wong Kah Loon and Lily Ng!
Photo by Lily Ng

Photo by Lily Ng

  • PhD Research Assistantship in ant ecology and biodiversity available. Contact me for more information.
  • The Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography Laboratory is now alive at HKU! Do you want to be part of it? Don’t hesitate to contact me.
  • New article on the effect of urbanization and 3 major invasive ant species on ant communities over a 40 years period! You might be surprised by the results.  Check this out
  • Cong Liu made a great website presenting beautiful pictures of all the 227 ant species we collected in June 2013 in the Xishuangbanna region (Yunnan, China). Check this out!