Smith, M.R., 1941
This ant species often nests in vertical stone walls of desert canyons. Workers become active at dusk (crepuscular) and continue to forage into the night. Nests are difficult to find and to excavate.
The workers lack propodeal spines, although small angles may be present. The carinae on the clypeus are poorly developed, although a median carina is usually present. The head is elongated, and narrowed posteriorly. The eyes are relatively small, the maximum diameter is less than is the distance between the anterior border of the eye and insertion of the mandibles. The dorsum of the head is densely, but finely punctate, and partially smooth and shining. The mesosoma has similar sculpture, but most of the propodeum is relatively smooth and glossy.
This species could be confused with Aphaenogaster megommata. It differs in having a smaller eye, with about fifteen facets in the greatest diameter (20 facets in A. megommata), and in having the eye located about 1.5 times the greater greatest ocular diameter from the insertion of the mandible (side view of head). Additionally, it is ferrugineous red, as compared to the pale tan A. megommata.
Aphaenogaster boulderensis is one of the NA Aphaenogaster species without propodeal spines. The head and mesosoma are light brown, and the gaster is dark brown. The antennal scapes pass the occipital margin by one-third the length of the scape. (DeMarco, 2015)
Identification Keys including this Taxon
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- boulderensis. Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma) boulderensis Smith, M.R. 1941: 120 (w.) U.S.A.
- Holotype, worker, Sentinel Island (as Horseshoe Island), Lake Mead, Nevada, United States, National Museum of Natural History; beneath a lava rock on top of the island. , 2 May 1941, V.M. Tanner, USNM No. 55661,
- Paratype, 13 workers, Sentinel Island (as Horseshoe Island), Lake Mead, Nevada, United States, National Museum of Natural History; beneath a lava rock on top of the island. , 2 May 1941, V.M. Tanner,
- Paratype, 7 workers, Sentinel Island (as Horseshoe Island), Lake Mead, Nevada, United States, , 2 May 1941, V.M. Tanner, V.M. Tanner collection; beneath a lava rock on top of the island.
Head, excluding mandibles, one and three-tenths to one and four-tenths times as long as broad; sides appearing somewhat subparallel up to the posterior border of each eye, from which points they very gradually converge to form rounded posterior corners and a rounded occipital border; occipital border with a weakly developed flange. Mandible large, triangular, with approximately 8-10 teeth of variable size. Clypeus about twice as broad as long, with a rather distinct emargination in middle of anterior border. Frontal carinae subparallel throughout almost the posterior half of their length. Eye prominent, strongly convex, with approximately 15 facets in its greatest diameter; eye about one and one-half times its greatest diameter from base of mandible. Antennal scape slender, long, about one and one-forth times as long as head, not including mandibles. Dorsal surface of prothorax and anterior third of mesothorax, in profile, forming a regular but not strongly convex arch. Posterior two-thirds of mesonotum noticeably depressed, in profile forming a rather straight line. Mesoepinotal constriction distinct, broader than deep. Base of epinotum feebly convex, meeting the declivity at an obtuse angle; vestigial tubercles scarcely more evident than those of floridana. Petiolar node distinctly longer than pedicel; anterior surface in profile, meeting dorsal surface of pedicel in a very distinct obtuse angle; dorsal surface of petiole somewhat rounded, as is also the sloping posterior declivity, the two areas ill defined at the point where they merge into each other. Postpetiolar node scarcely longer than high, anterior surface forming a long slope, posterior surface more convex, declivous and short. From above, gaster subelliptical, broader than head.
Frontal area, posterior part of head, prothorax, anterior coxae, dorsal surface of petiole and postpetiole, and the gaster rather smooth and shining. Anterior two-thirds of head, including mandibles, the antennae, and tarsi, more opaque; mandibles somewhat coarsely and longitudinally striated. Clypeus and genae longitudinally rugulose, the former bearing a distinct median carina; frontal area with one or several longitudinal rugulae. Mesothorax, epinotum, and under surfaces of petiole and postpetiole with granulation-like shagreening; epinotum also finely and transversely rugulose. Coxae, femora, and gaster with exceedingly fine reticulae.
Hairs yellowish, moderately long but sparse, suberect to erect, on head, thorax, petiole, postpetiole, coxae, trochanters, gaster and also on ventral surfaces of femora. Antennae, tibiae, and tarsi with short, appressed hairs, these especially abundant and noticeable on the antennae. Light yellowish brown, often with darker mandibles, anterior portion of head, antennae, legs and gaster.
- Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 68, catalogue)
- DeMarco, B.B. 2015. Phylogeny of North American Aphaenogaster species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) reconstructed with morphological and DNA data. Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State University.
- Mackay, W.P., Mackay, E. 2017. The New World Gypsy Ants of the genera Aphaenogaster and Novomessor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lambert Academic Publishing, Mauritius. 605 pp.
- Shattuck, S.O., Cover, S. 2016. Taxonomy of some little-understood North American ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 4175: 010–022 (doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4175.1.2).
- Smith, M. R. 1941. Two new species of Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Great Basin Nat. 2: 118-121 PDF (page 120, worker described)
- Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.