Ants of Florida: Identification and Natural History by Mark Deyrup

By Mark Deyrup

Ants are generic to each naturalist, ecologist, entomologist, and pest keep watch over operator. The identity of the 233 species of Florida ants is technically tough, and data on Florida ants is dispersed between enormous quantities of technical magazine articles. This booklet makes use of particular and lovely clinical drawings for handy id. To such a lot Florida biologists ants are presently the main inaccessible team of conspicuous and intrusive bugs. This ebook solves the dual difficulties of ant id and the extreme fragmentation of common heritage information regarding Florida ants.

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While there are many exotic Hypoponera that could probably live in Florida, there is no reason to believe that there are native species that remain undetected. Even subterranean species such as inexorata produce alates that are caught in flight traps, and I know of no unassigned alates. Species of Hypoponera look similar to Ponera, but lack a translucent “porthole” found on the ventral part of the petiole of Ponera. This structure is inconveniently located, as it is normally hidden by the middle coxae.

Medeiros et al. (1992) studied dominance hierarchies in queens of the polygynous species O. chelifer. Brandão (1983) studied division of labor in the Brazilian species Odontomachus affinis. Name Derivation: From odontos (Greek), meaning “tooth,” and machetes (Greek), meaning “fighter” or “warrior,” referring to the toothed jaws and defensive behavior of Odontomachus species. Odontomachus brunneus (Patton)— Southeastern Snapping Ant (Plate 8) Taxonomy and Similar Species: The long, dense, appressed pubescence on the gaster distinguishes brunneus from other Florida species.

Distribution: Known only from Thomas County, Georgia; Marion County, Arkansas; and Lafayette County, Florida; a male that is believed to represent this species was collected in a Malaise trap in Leon County, Florida. Natural History: This remarkable ant causes one to wonder what other rare ants might still SPECIES aCCOUNtS 17 be undiscovered in the soil beneath our feet. All but one of the specimens were collected in pitfall traps placed in the burrow systems of pocket gophers (Geomys pinetis) by Paul Skelley and Peter Kovarik in a study emphasizing the specialized scarabs that live with pocket gophers.

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