Dolichoderus taschenbergi

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dolichoderus taschenbergi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Dolichoderus
Species: D. taschenbergi
Binomial name
Dolichoderus taschenbergi
(Mayr, 1866)

Dolichoderus taschenbergi casent0005172 profile 1.jpg

Dolichoderus taschenbergi casent0005172 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

These ants form large colonies with numerous foraging trails to nearby vegetation where works collect a variety of prey items and attend homopterans for honeydew. Nests are often at the base of a tree or shrub with thatched plant fibers mixed with soil and roots.

Photo Gallery

  • Worker.
  • Worker and dealate queen. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Dealate queen. Photo by Tom Murray.

Identification

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Nova Scotia, Canada westward to Manitoba and North Dakota. Southward, the ant reaches both North and South Carolina and is also known from Mississippi.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: Canada, United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Abundance

The southern records are particularly spotty and the species is clearly more abundant in the northern part of its range.

Biology

D. taschenbergi workers. May 2019, Rhode Island. Photograph by Robert D. Kenney.
D. taschenbergi workers. May 2019, Rhode Island. Photograph by Robert D. Kenney.

In the spring, workers of this species will form a mass of ants in exposed areas to warm themselves. This can help them to jump-start their spring time activites as they emerge from their long winter estivation.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • taschenbergi. Hypoclinea taschenbergi Mayr, 1866a: 498 (w.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1951: 173 (l.); Mackay, 1993b: 100 (q.m.). Combination in Dolichoderus: Mayr, 1886d: 437; in D. (Hypoclinea): Emery, 1894c: 229. Senior synonym of aterrimus: Creighton, 1950a: 336; of the unnecessary replacement name wheeleriella: Smith, M.R. 1951a: 834. See also: Wheeler, G.C & Wheeler, J. 1966: 728; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1416; Francoeur & Elias, 1985: 303; Johnson, C. 1989a: 4; Mackay, 1993b: 99; Shattuck, 1994: 69.
  • gagates. Dolichoderus taschenbergi var. gagates Wheeler, W.M. 1905d: 310 (w.) U.S.A. [Junior primary homonym of gagates Emery, above.] Replacement name (first): aterrimus Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 417. Replacement name (second, unnecessary): wheeleriella Forel, 1916: 458.
  • aterrimus. Dolichoderus (Hypoclinea) taschenbergi var. aterrimus Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 417. Replacement name for gagates Wheeler, W.M. 1905d: 310. [Junior primary homonym of gagates Emery, 1890a: 69.] Junior synonym of taschenbergi: Creighton, 1950a: 336.
  • wheeleriella. Dolichoderus taschenbergi var. wheeleriella Forel, 1916: 458. Unnecessary (second) replacement name for gagates Wheeler, W.M. 1905d: 310. Junior synonym of taschenbergi: Smith, M.R. 1951a: 834.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Johnson (1989) - The insect is basically a concolorous dark often blackish ant. The mandibles and antennae are light brown; head, alitrunk, legs and petiole dark brownish-black. The gaster is dark brown but somewhat less so than head and alitrunk. Again color is interpreted widely; Wheeler (1905a) described a group of individuals as "...sparkles like a mass of jet beads".

Structurally, a fine granulation sculptures the head particularly behind the eyes where distinct but shallow foveolae also occur. A similarly delicate granulation or punctation sculptures the pronotum. The fine sculpture and dark color generally reduce reflectivity of head and pronotum to a dull sheen. A more strongly developed granulation exists on the mesonotum plus fine, longitudinal striations The stronger granulation continues over the propodeum with distinct depressions. The mesonotum and propodeum are essentially opaque reflecting little or no light. The integument of petiole and especially gaster is smooth and shining in strong light. There are a few erect hairs usually on head and occasionally a hair (rarely 2 or 3) on anterior of pronotum and 1 or 2 hairs occasionally on the first segment of the gaster. These hairs are shorter in length and much less numerous than observed in D. pustulatus or especially in D. plagiatus and D. species A. No erect hairs on scapes. In dorsal view, length and width of the propodeum are approximately equal, a characteristic of this species. The integument within concavity of the declivous face of the propodeum is granulate and opaque though lighter in color than surrounding cuticle.

References