Lasius pubescens

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Lasius pubescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Lasius
Species: L. pubescens
Binomial name
Lasius pubescens
Buren, 1942

Lasius pubescens casent0103497 profile 1.jpg

Lasius pubescens casent0103497 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  

 

Identification

Worker: Similar to Lasius bureni, but SI 83 or more. Erect petiolar scale with crest below level of propodeal spiracles; blunt, not emarginate. Standing hairs on gula measuring 0.10 mm or less, those on crest of scale usually numbering 2, one on each corner. Pubescence short, dense over most of body. Averaging and ranging smaller than bureni. Color yellow to brownish yellow. Queen: Similar to bureni. Crest of erect petiolar scale below level of prodpodeal spiracle, blunt to very blunt, without emargination; sides slightly convex. Standing body hairs less numerous and shorter than in bureni. Standing hairs on crest and sides of scale and on gula each numbering 6 or less, with a maximum length not over 0.12 mm; those on fore femur numbering about 6, with a maximum length not over 0.08 mm. Alitrunk with longer standing hairs measuring 0.20 mm or less. Antennal scapes longer, SI 77-78. Body size smaller, HW 1.10 mm or less. Pubescence on dorsum of gaster very dense. Body color deep grayish brown, appendages lighter. Pubescence denser on gaster than elsewhere on body, fairly sparse on alitrunk. Declivitous face of propodeum below spiracles highly glabrous. (Wing 1968)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known from Minnesota and Tennessee.

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

Biology

Wing (1968) – I collected a colony near McGrath, Aitkin Co., Minnesota on August 29, 1950. It was a populous colony in a low mound in open woods. The type series was collected by W. F. Buren on August 11, 1941, near Jenkins, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota. This colony also was nesting in a sandy, low mound in open woods. The Buren nest series had only 4 queens and no males. He took this to indicate that all major flight activity had occurred before the collection date, August 11, 1941.

This species belonged to what was long considered a separate genus (Acanthomyops). Wing (1968) published a revision of that taxon, summarizing some of their biology: These ants are exclusively subterranean in their habits, except for short periods of time just before and during nuptials. Nests are built in the soil, usually under the cover of objects such as stones or logs, but sometimes, especially in the Plains States, loosely compacted earthen mounds of varying size are made. Some taxa nest partially in rotted wood; these colonies are typically found in association with stumps and logs. Most taxa in the eastern states show a preference for fairly moist conditions, selecting fields, pastures, and woodlands as nesting sites. In the western states many taxa exhibit a greater tolerance for drier conditions in the selection of their nesting sites. Most myrmecologists believe that all species of Acanthomyops are temporary social parasites of Lasius. We have, however, very little evidence on the mode or modes of colony foundation in the genus - most of it being largely circumstantial. Work done by Tanquary (1911) represents the most determined effort to date to elucidate the nature of colony foundation in the genus. Methods of colony foundation in Acanthomyops are in critical need of solid evidence from field and laboratory studies. Many species of Acanthomyops are known to regularly attend subterranean aphids and coccids, which represent a wide variety of taxa. Probably the species whose biologies are unknown likewise subsist principally on the honeydew of these homopterous insects. At the time of the nuptial flights, which are more or less characteristic as to season for a given species, the workers in mature colonies of Acanthomyops open up the nest entrance widely by excavation. Nests in this condition are found readily even before the actual flights begin to occur. Flights occurring in natural surroundings often involve the participation of an extremely large number of alate individuals. The queens and males congregate on the ground, and, when the conditions are right, fly up into the air in large numbers. Later, many descend from their flight, often giving rise to large aggregations of ants in restricted local areas; this frequently leads to concern on the part of persons residing in the area. Nuptial flights sometimes originate from the basements of homes and stores. Confronted with the evidence of flights of the latter type, which usually take place during the winter months, occupants often fear that their buildings are infested with termites.

Castes

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • pubescens. Lasius (Acanthomyops) pubescens Buren, 1942: 405 (w.q.) U.S.A. Combination in Acanthomyops: Creighton, 1950a: 433; in Lasius: Ward, 2005: 13. See also: Wing, 1968: 138.

Description

Worker

Wing 1968 Acanthomyops figs. 168-176

Type Material

Wing (1968) - Type locality: Jenkins, Crow Wing Co., Minnesota. Location of types: Holotype queen in the W. F. Buren Collection; paratypes in the collections of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, National Museum of Natural History and Iowa State College.

References

  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 53, catalogue)
  • Buren, W. F. 1942. New ants from Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Iowa State Coll. J. Sci. 16: 399-408 (page 405, worker, queen described)
  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 433, Combination in Acanthomyops)
  • Ward, P.S. 2005. A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 936: 1-68 (page 13, revived combination in Lasius (Acanthomyops))
  • Wing, M. W. 1968a. Taxonomic revision of the Nearctic genus Acanthomyops (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mem. Cornell Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn. 405: 1-173 (page 138, see also)