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.
Keys including this Species
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
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The southern records are particularly spotty and the species is clearly more abundant in the northern part of its range.
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.
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.
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.
- Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 336, senior synonym of aterrimus)
- Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 229, Combination in D. (Hypoclinea))
- Francoeur, A.; Elias, S. A. 1985. Dolichoderus taschenbergi Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from an early Holocene fossil insect assemblage in the Colorado Front Range. Psyche. 92:303-307. [1985-XI-28] PDF
- Johnson, C. 1989a. Identification and nesting sites of North American species of Dolichoderus Lund (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 3: 1-9 (page 4, see also)
- Kannowski, P. B. 1959a. The flight activities of Dolichoderus (Hypoclinea) taschenbergi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 52:755-760. PDF
- MacKay, W. P. 1993b. A review of the New World ants of the genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 22: 1-148 (page 100, queen, male described)
- Mayr, G. 1866a. Myrmecologische Beiträge. Sitzungsber. Kais. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. Abt. I 53: 484-517 (page 498, worker described)
- Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 437, Combination in Dolichoderus)
- Ortius, D. 1998 ("1995"). A Dolichoderus taschenbergi queen found in a polygynous colony of D. plagiatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge) 102:147-150. [1998-03-27] PDF
- Shattuck, S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. 112:i-xix, 1-241. (page 69, see also)
- Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1416, see also)
- Smith, M. R. 1951c. Family Formicidae. Pp. 778-875 in: Muesebeck, C. F., Krombein, K. V., Townes, H. K. (eds.) Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico. Synoptic catalogue. U. S. Dep. Agric. Agric. Monogr. 2:1-1420. (page 834, senior synonym of the unnecessary replacement name wheeleriella)
- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1951. The ant larvae of the subfamily Dolichoderinae. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 53: 169-210 (page 173, larva described)
- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1966. Ant larva of the subfamily Dolichoderinae: supplement. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 59: 726-732 (page 728, see also)