Formica laeviceps

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Formica laeviceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species group: rufa
Species: F. laeviceps
Binomial name
Formica laeviceps
Creighton, 1940

Formica laeviceps casent0103372 profile 1.jpg

Formica laeviceps casent0103372 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This ant nests under stones, and occurs in areas with sandy soils and interspersed stones. Foragers were collected on Yucca sp. stalks, tending aphids, on a sunny, east-facing slope.

Identification

Workers lacking erect hairs on the scape (except at apex) and with few erect hairs on the mid and hind tibiae, except for a double row of bristles, each with up to 10 hairs, which extend the entire length of the tibia. The tentorial pits are very deep and pit-like, making the middle part of the clypeus rise up as a rectangle. The species name suggests that the head is smooth, but it is predominantly rough and only slightly smoother than the average member of the rufa group. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Western Unites States.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

Mackay and Mackay (2002) - Semiarid sites, grasslands, pinyon-juniper forests, up into mixed conifer habitats (Fagerlund, pers. comm.).

Biology

Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - We have 8 records from 7 localities; 4,200-7,100 ft. One was in the Coniferous Forest Biome and 1 in the Cool Desert. Only 1 nest was described: in an asymmetrical thatch mound 86 x 107 cm in diameter and 56 cm in height. Workers from a Battle Mt. nest were tending Zyxaphis lililolia Gill. & Palmer (Homoptera: Aphididae; det. D. Hille Ris Lambers) on Artemisia tridentata.

Nest site selected in areas of moderate to sparse cover. Nest begun under log or stone with many of the passages running into the soil. Moderate use made of thatching, often little of this visible on the outside of the nest. Large domes or heaps of thatching rarely produced (Creighton, 1940).

Castes

Worker


Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • laeviceps. Formica rufa subsp. laeviceps Creighton, 1940a: 9, fig. 1 (w.q.) U.S.A. Raised to species: Creighton, 1950a: 491.

Description

References