Leptothorax acervorum

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Leptothorax acervorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Leptothorax
Species: L. acervorum
Binomial name
Leptothorax acervorum
(Fabricius, 1793)

Leptothorax acervorum casent0104845 profile 1.jpg

Leptothorax acervorum casent0104845 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms
Common Name
Takane-muneboso-ari
Language: Japanese

This species is most abundant in dry and lighted coniferous forests with scarce undergrowth, it reaches to the north the Forest-Tundra zone. It also can be found in open habitats, ranging from moist peat bogs to xerothermal grasslands. Nests are built (depending on habitat) in rotten logs or stumps, in fallen branches, under bark and, more rarely, under stones or in rock crevices, also under moss; in bogs they are found in peat. (Radchenko 2004) Colonies are known to switch from monogyny to polygyny as a result of seasonal fluctuations (Heinze, 1994).

At a Glance • Facultatively polygynous  • Tandem running  • Diploid male  

 

Photo Gallery

  • Leptothorax acervorum queen with numerous mites attached to her gaster. Photo by Michal Kukla.

Identification

Terayama and Onoyama (1999) - Total length of workers around 3-3.5 mm. Head and gaster black; mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole reddish brown, their dorsa blackish brown; legs brown. Antennae 11-segmented; scapes short, not reaching posterior margin of head in full-face view. Pro- and mesonotal dorsa depressed in profile. Propodeal dorsum weakly convex. Propodeal spines longer than wide in side view, with acute tips. Petiolar node high, triangular; anterior margin sloping steeply forwards in profile; peduncle obscure.

Collingwood (1979) - Reddish to brownish yellow with the head, antennal club and dorsal surface of gaster darker. Dorsa of petiole nodes and femora frequently infuscated. Antennae with eleven segments. Head longitudinally striate, alitrunk rugose and gaster smooth. Propodeal spines strong. Mesopropodeal suture distinct and depressed. Tibiae and scapes with numerous erect hairs. Length: 3.8-4.5 mm.

This is a comparatively large and robust species easily recognized by the abundant suberect appendage hairs in all castes. The species tends to darken in colour from south to north varying from bright yellowish brown to nearly black, the darker samples occurring chiefly in high mountain areas, peat bogs and in the arctic north but with no clear break in colour gradation to the dark form sometimes referred to as the variety nigrescens Ruzsky (1905).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Northernmost Scandinavia to mountains of South Europe and from Spain to Japan (Collingwood 1979).

Terayama and Onoyama (1999) - In Japan this species is distributed in the lowlands of Hokkaido and mountainous areas of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. In central Honshu L. acervorum is found at 1,350-2,590 m above sea level (Sonobe, 1979), at 1,900-1,980 m on Mt. Ishizuchi in Shikoku (Takechi, 1960a, 1960b; Sonobe, 1979), and at 1,740 m on Mt. Kujyu, Kyushu (Sonobe, 1979).

In Japan this species is distributed in the lowlands of Hokkaido and mountainous areas of Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. In central Honshu L. acervorum is found at 1300-2600 m above sea level; at 1920 - 1980 m on Mt. Ishizuchi in Shikoku, and at 1740 m on Mt. Kujyu, Kyushu (Japanese Ant Image Database).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Oriental Region: India, Pakistan.
Palaearctic Region: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark (type locality), Estonia, Finland, France (type locality), Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Collingwood (1979) -This species nests in small isolated colonies of 25 to 60 individuals with one or several queens; worker-queen intercastes are frequent. It is found nesting in open moorland in peat, rock crevices and under stones and in woodland areas on fallen tree trunks, rotten branches, stumps or under bark. The workers forage singly, predating small insects or scavenging insect corpses. It has not been observed to tend aphids, is non-aggressive and avoids combat with other ants. Alatae occur in the nests in June and July and have been observed flying and mating on high ground in July.

Terayama and Onoyama (1999) - Monogynous and polygynous colonies are present in Japan, but even in polygynous colonies only one of the queens has functional ovaries and lays eggs (Ito, 1991), which is (“functional monogyny”). Three socially parasitic ant species are known to associate with L. acervorum in Europe, but none are yet known to occur in Japan.

Association with Other Organisms

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: facultatively polygynous (Buschinger, 1968; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Mean colony size: 250 (Dobrzanski, 1966; Buschinger, 1971; Moglich et al., 1974; Moglich, 1979; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: tandem recruitment (Dobrzanski, 1966; Buschinger, 1971; Moglich et al., 1974; Moglich, 1979; Beckers et al., 1989)

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Diploid males are known to occur in this species (found in 1.3% of 239 examined nests) (Hammond et al., 2001; Cournault & Aron, 2009).

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • acervorum. Formica acervorum Fabricius, 1793: 358 (w.) DENMARK. Latreille, 1798: 49 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1955b: 21 (l.). Combination in Leptothorax: Mayr, 1855: 436; in L. (Mychothorax): Ruzsky, 1904a: 288. Senior synonym of lacteipennis: Nylander, 1846a: 936; of kamtshaticus: Kupyanskaya, 1986b: 96; of orientalis: Kupyanskaya, 1990: 137; of nigrescens, superus: Radchenko, 1995a: 23. Material of the nomen nudum melanocephala referred here by Mayr, 1855: 411. Current subspecies: nominal plus vandeli. See also: Donisthorpe, 1915d: 147; Stitz, 1939: 158; Tarbinsky, 1976: 86; Kutter, 1977c: 128; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 130; Terayama & Onoyama, 1999: 75.
  • lacteipennis. Myrmica lacteipennis Zetterstedt, 1838: 452 (m.) SWEDEN. Junior synonym of acervorum: Nylander, 1846a: 936.
  • nigrescens. Leptothorax acervorum var. nigrescens Ruzsky, 1905b: 614 (w.) RUSSIA. Subspecies of acervorum: Ruzsky, 1936: 94; Pisarski, 1969b: 297. Junior synonym of acervorum: Radchenko, 1995a: 23.
  • superus. Leptothorax (Mychothorax) acervorum var. superus Ruzsky, 1905b: 614 (w.m.) RUSSIA. [Later misspelled as superbus by Ruzsky, 1936: 94.] Junior synonym of acervorum: Radchenko, 1995a: 23.
  • kamtshaticus. Leptothorax (Mychothorax) acervorum subsp. kamtshaticus Ruzsky, 1920: 77 (w.) RUSSIA. Junior synonym of acervorum: Kupyanskaya, 1986b: 96.
  • orientalis. Mychothorax acervorum subsp. orientalis Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1928b: 31 (w.) RUSSIA. Junior synonym of acervorum: Kupyanskaya, 1990: 137.
  • vandeli. Mychothorax acervorum var. vandeli Bondroit, 1920a: 153 (w.q.) FRANCE.
    • [Also described as new by Bondroit, 1920b: 303.]
    • Combination in Temnothorax: Borowiec, L. 2014: 193 (error).
    • Subspecies of acervorum: Bolton, 1995b: 246.
    • Junior synonym of acervorum: Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowski, 2009: 488.
    • Status as species: Borowiec, L. 2014: 193 (error).

Description

Karyotype

  • n = 13, 2n = 26 (Canada; France; Germany; Sweden; Switzerland) (Fischer, 1987; Hauschteck-Jungen & Jungen, 1983; Loiselle et al., 1990).

Worker Morphology

  • Caste: monomorphic

References

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