Temnothorax duloticus

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Temnothorax duloticus
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species: T. duloticus
Binomial name
Temnothorax duloticus
(Wesson, L.G., 1937)

Temnothorax duloticus casent0103163 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax duloticus casent0103163 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Temnothorax duloticus parasitizes other Temnothorax species, including Temnothorax ambiguus, Temnothorax curvispinosus and Temnothorax longispinosus.

At a Glance • Slave-maker  

 

Identification

Distribution

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

Type habitat (Wesson 1940): The locality was on a steep, dry hillside thickly covered with small oak trees in which were intermingled a few pines and small maples. The ground vegetation consisted of scattered, low bushes, seedling trees and a few herbs. The shallow, sandstone soil was thickly covered with dead leaves or pine needles.

Biology

Reproduction

Kannowski (1959) noted the following concerning Temnothorax duloticus reproduction in southeastern Michigan: "The single colony of the slave-making ant, Temnothorax duloticus, found with Temnothorax ambiguus as the slave, contained male pupae when collected on July 23, 1954. By the first of August only one male had emerged from its pupal integument; when it was preserved on August 12, it had fully matured. None of the other pupae survived. Talbot (1957) has determined that alates of this species occur from late July to early September in nests in upland communities on the George Reserve.

Dulotic Temnothorax

Siefert et al. (2014) - Three slave-making species of the Temnothorax genus group (Bolton 2003) of the ant tribe Formicoxenini are known from North America. Each of the three represents an unmistakable combination of phenotypic characters. They all use species of the genus Temnothorax Forel, 1890 as hosts and cluster genetically with species of this genus (Beibl et al. 2005). The first species and outgroup to all the others (Beibl et al. 2005), Temnothorax americanus (Emery, 1895), is characterized by an elongated, semi-rectangular head capsule with extremely long antennal scobes that fully accommodate the short and flattened scape when it is folded back. These characters are a convergence to the Holarctic genus Harpagoxenus that belongs to the distantly related Leptothorax genus group. The second one, Temnothorax duloticus (Wesson, 1937), shows an acute, frontoventrally directed dent on the postpetiolar sternite, a high petiole with a bulky, truncate node that slopes down to the caudal cylinder with a distinct step. This particular petiolar shape and the reduction of antennal segments to 11 resemble the situation in the subgenus Mychothorax Ruzsky, 1904 of the genus Leptothorax Mayr, 1855. However, T. duloticus differs from the latter by the absence of a curved transverse carina on the stipes of the maxillae. On the third species….only little information exists to date (Herbers and Foitzik 2002, Beibl et al. 2005). Its phenotype is an unmistakable combination of an acute, frontoventrally directed dent on postpetiolar sternite, a stout, hump-backed mesosoma, small scape length, a high petiole that is in lateral aspect roughly triangular, a wide petiole and reduced mandibular dentition. Robin Stuart was the first who recognized the new species (Herbers and Foitzik 2002). We follow his proposal to name this slave-making species Temnothorax pilagens.

Regional Notes

Ohio

Wesson and Wesson (1940) - Three colonies were taken in the type locality, a steep, dry oak woods in Jackson County. The habits of this slave-maker are described in a separate paper.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • duloticus. Leptothorax (Mychothorax) duloticus Wesson, L.G. 1937: 125, fig. 1 (w.q.) U.S.A. Wesson, L.G. 1940: 81 (m.). Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271. See also: Wilson, 1975: 108.

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

Description

Worker

Worker: length 2.4-2.6 mm. Head longer than broad, somewhat narrower in front than behind; the posterior corners broadly rounded, the posterior border faintly excised. Mandibles 5-toothed, robust; teeth coarse, short and blunt. Clypeus convex, not impressed in the middle; the anterior border narrowly and rather shallowly notched in the middle, the sides sinuate. Antennae 11-jointed; scape extending to the posterior border of the head; first funicular joint as long as the succeeding joints; joints 2-7 slightly broader than long; remaining 3 joints forming a distinct club which is nearly as long as the remainder of the funiculus. Eyes broadly oval, large, the longest diameter equal to 1/4 the length from base of mandibles to posterior corner of head.

Thorax moderately robust, the humeral angles rounded. Mesoepinotal constriction broad and shallow. Promesonotal suture distinct. Epinotal spines long, thick, blunt, divergent, somewhat recurved; length about 1 1/3 times the distance apart at their bases and about as long as the epinotal declivity. Petiole viewed from above with sides straight and subparallel; about 1 3/4 times longer than broad. Node high; in profile, the anterior slope is slightly concave; the posterior slope shorter, strongly convex, subangulate; seen from the rear the node is compressed, the summit somewhat concave with angular corners. Ventral tooth prominent, directed downward. Postpetiole seen from above slightly greater than 1 1/2 times the width of the petiole; in profile the dorsal surface is convex and evenly rounded; the anterior angles prominent but obtuse. Gaster and legs of the usual shape for Mychothorax.

Head, thorax, petiole and postpetiole very densely and coarsely punctate; in addition the head bears faint irregular rugae on the front and vertex, coarser and subparallel rugae on the cheeks and around the antennal insertions; top of thorax bearing faint irregular rugae. Mandibles feebly shining, with sparse, irregular, longitudinal striations. Clypeus rather shining, with several longitudinal rugae. Epinotal declivity, gaster and legs smooth and shining.

Body bearing sparse, long, erect, obtuse hairs on vertex of head, thorax, petiole and postpetiole; less obtuse and more numerous on the gaster. Antennae, legs and gaster bearing acute, fine reclinate hairs, rather dense on the antennae, less numerous on the gaster and legs.

Color light brown; funiculi and a band across the middle of the gaster darker.

Queen

Female: length 3.25 mm. Anterior margin of clypeus shallowly but distinctly emarginate. Antennal scape reaching to midway between the eye and the posterior corner of the head. Eyes and ocelli large. Thorax stout, of the usual female shape; showing distinct traces of having borne wings. Epinotal spines shorter and stouter than in the worker; length about 2/3 the distance apart at the bases. Petiolar node as seen from behind lower and more rounded than in the worker.

Head, petiole and postpetiole rather densely punctate, the punctures wide and shallow giving a subreticulate appearance; faintly shining and distinctly rugose. Clypeus shining, with 8-10 longitudinal rugae. Mesonotum and scutellum feebly shining, with fine sparse longitudinal rugae. Pleurae shining, finely and sparsely punctate. Pronotum and epinotum finely, irregularly and rather closely reticulate-rugose, the rugae with a longitudinal trend. Gaster and legs smooth and shining. Integument covered with scattered fine appressed hairs which are more numerous on the antennae; front and vertex of head, thorax, petiole, postpetiole and gaster with additional long erect slender pointed yellow hairs.

Color light brown with a darker band across the middle of the gaster; antennal insertions and a ring around each ocellus, black.

Male

(Wesson 1940) Male. Length, 2.8-3.0 mm. Mandibles long, with broad blades, the terminal tooth sharply mucronate, penultimate tooth prominent, the basal teeth obsolete. Anterior border of the clypeus sinuate laterally, projecting and feebly emarginate in the middle; clypeal disk oval, slightly broader than long. Frontal carinae circular, partially enclosing the antennal insertions. Antennae 12 jointed, the scape as long as the first 4 funicular joints; first funicular joint pyriform, second to sixth funicular joints small, subequal, seventh funicular joint larger, the 4 terminal joints forming a distinct club which is slightly longer than the remainder of the funiculus. Mesonotum strongly convex anteriorly, rising abruptly from and projecting somewhat over the pronotum. Thoracic sutures very distinct, the Mayrian furrows strongly impressed throughout their length. Forewings with long radial cell which is narrowly open. Hind wings veinless. Epinotum bearing robust spines about as long as broad at the base. Petiole in profile short, 1 1/3 times longer than broad, broadly convex on the anterior slope, steeper and concave on the posterior slope. From above the petiole is broad, the sides subparallel, slightly narrower anteriorly; node slightly compressed laterally, the superior border feebly emarginate. Petiole bearing a stout ventral downward projecting tooth. Postpetiole from above subrectangular, 1 3/5 times broader than long and broader than the petiole in the same proportion, the anterior angles prominent.

Head opaque, coarsely and densely punctate, the punctures intermingled with fine, sparse, irregular rugae. Mandibles longitudinally striate. Clypeus, thorax, petiole, postpetiole and gaster shining; the clypeus with a few longitudinal rugae, especially on the sides; borders of the thoracic sutures and areas bordering wing insertions, irregularly sculptured; petiole and sides of the epinotum crenulate; gaster and the smooth portions of the thorax very finely and sparsely crenulate and with sparse punctures.

Hairs long, erect, slender, sparse on most of the body, shorter and more numerous on the posterior segments of the gaster, short and reclinate on the legs and antennae.

Color, brownish black; antennae, legs and mandibles pale yellow; clypeus and genitalia reddish brown.

Type Material

near Jackson, Ohio

References

  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
  • Talbot, M. 1957. Population studies of the slave-making ant Leptothorax duloticus and its slave, Leptothorax curvispinosus. Ecology. 38:449-456.
  • Wesson, L. G. 1937. A slave-making Leptothorax (Hymen.: Formicidae). Entomol. News 48: 125-129 (page 125, fig. 1 worker, queen described)
  • Wesson, L. G. 1940a. Observations on Leptothorax duloticus. Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. 35: 73-83 (page 81, male described)
  • Wesson, L. G. and R. G. Wesson. 1940. A collection an ants from southcentral Ohio. American Midland Naturalist. 24:89-103.
  • Wilson, E. O. 1975b. Leptothorax duloticus and the beginnings of slavery in ants. Evolution 29: 108-119 (page 108, see also)