Solenopsis pergandei

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Solenopsis pergandei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species complex: fugax
Species: S. pergandei
Binomial name
Solenopsis pergandei
Forel, 1901

Solenopsis pergandei casent0104506 profile 1.jpg

Solenopsis pergandei casent0104506 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms

Solenopsis pergandei prefers compact soil, arid sites and areas such as lawns and trails in forests (Thompson, 1980) or actually in dense forests. It can also be found nesting in dark brown sandy soils; or in rotting pine stumps (Smith, 1931, 1944). This species can be collected in scrubby flatwoods in Florida and can be found in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. It can be collected using subterranean Vienna sausage baits.

Identification

A New World thief ant that is a member of the fugax species complex

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) – Worker - The worker is medium sized and light yellow. The clypeus is very narrow between the lateral carinae. The lateral clypeal teeth are well developed. It has very coarse cephalic punctures with scattered erect hairs on the dorsum of the head. The postpetiole is perfectly round when viewed from above. The notopropodeal suture is very depressed, the propodeal spiracle is large and close to the suture. Queen - The queen is a moderately sized (6-7 millimeters total length) pale yellow specimen with black eyes. The lateral clypeal teeth are developed, the extralateral teeth are poorly developed. The dorsum of the head is coarsely punctate and the scapes fail to reach the posterior lateral corner of the head. Nearly all surfaces are covered with erect or suberect hairs up to 0.12 millimeters in length. The hairs are abundant on the dorsum and ventral surfaces of the head, scape and tibiae. Viewed from above, the postpetiole is globular-shaped, similar to that of the worker.

This species is unlikely to be confused with any others in North America, based on the coarse punctures on the head, combined with the perfectly round postpetiole (seen from above). The members of the pygmaea group, also have coarse punctures on the head, as well as circular postpetioles, but have elongated heads. Solenopsis pergandei has a quadrate-shaped head and is much larger than members of the pygmaea species complex. The shape of the petiole (moderately thickened as seen in profile) suggests a close relationship of this species with Solenopsis pilosula. It can be separated by the circular postpetiole (oval in S. pilosula) and the clypeal carinae are not parallel (nearly parallel in S. pilosula).

Solenopsis puncticeps differs from the "normal" S. pergandei in having coarser punctures on the dorsum of the head, but is very similar to the condition of the types and is recognized within the variation of the same species-level taxon.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

United States: North Carolina south to Florida, west Texas and New Mexico.

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

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

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

  • pergandei. Solenopsis pergandei Forel, 1901e: 343 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1960b: 21 (l.). Combination in S. (Diplorhoptrum): Smith, M.R. 1947f: 568. Senior synonym of puncticeps: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 258. See also: Thompson & Johnson, 1989: 698.
  • puncticeps. Solenopsis (Diplorhoptrum) puncticeps Mackay, W.P. & Vinson, 1989a: 177, figs. 5-8 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of pergandei: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 258.

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

Description

Worker

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=5). TL 1.74-1.86 (1.82); HL 0.498-0.510 (0.508); HW 0.456-0.468 (0.462); EL 0.036; ED 0.030; SL 0.360; FSL 0.162; CI 89.4-92.8 (91.0); SI 70.6-72.3 (70.9); PL 0.078-0.120 (0.102); PW 0.120-0.138 (0.133); PI 65.0-90.9 (76.4); PPL 0.132; PPW 0.150; PPI 88; WL 0.432-0.444 (0.438); PSL 0.048; PSW 0.048.

Concolorous light yellow; head nearly quadrate; eye small, round, two ommatidia; clypeus narrow; lateral clypeal teeth well developed; extralateral teeth absent; clypeal carinae weakly developed; scape extends ¾ length of head; notopropodeal suture depressed; propodeal spiracle large; petiolar peduncle with translucent tooth ventrally; postpetiole circular viewed dorsally.

Entire body densely hairy, with all hairs about equal in length; hairs scattered across head, but with center line free of hairs.

Queen

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=1). TL 6.5; HL 0.813; HW 0.900; EL 0.363; ED 0.263; SL 0.563; FSL 0.288; CI 111; SI 69; PL 0.313; PW 0.388; PI 124; PPL 0.425; PPW 0.450; PPI 106; WL 1.038; PSL 0.125; PSW 0.088.

Concolorous pale yellow with black eyes; mandible with four teeth; lateral teeth of clypeus short (0.002 mm); eye large, occupying approximately ½ length of side of head; scape failing to reach posterior lateral corner of head by approximately maximum diameter of scape; ocelli well developed, diameter of median ocellus slightly larger than distance between median ocellus and lateral ocellus; mandibles smooth and glossy with scattered punctures; dorsum of head smooth and glossy, with large punctae, separated by about 2-3 punctal diameters; mesosoma smooth and glossy, scutum covered with coarse punctae as dorsum of head; subpeduncular process poorly developed; postpetiole and gaster smooth and glossy.

Erect golden-yellow hairs present on mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of head, posterior border, scape, funiculus, mesosoma, coxae, femora, tibiae, dorsum of petiole, all surfaces of postpetiole, and all surfaces of gaster.

Type Material

North Carolina, Faisons, Forel (lectotype worker, 5 paralectotype workers, 2 paralectotype queens and 3 paralectotype males Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève). Solenopsis puncticeps Texas, Brazos Co., 10 k N Kurten, 5-v-1987, W. Mackay # 9149 (27 paratype workers William and Emma Mackay).

References

  • Forel, A. 1901j. Variétés myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 334-382 (page 343, worker, queen, male described)
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Pacheco, J.A. & Mackay, W.P. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. 501 pp.
  • Smith, M. R. 1947f. A generic and subgeneric synopsis of the United States ants, based on the workers. Am. Midl. Nat. 37: 521-647 (page 568, Combination in S. (Diplorhoptrum))
  • Thompson, C. R.; Johnson, C. 1989. Rediscovered species and revised key to the Florida thief ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Fla. Entomol. 72: 697-698 (page 698, see also)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1960b. Supplementary studies on the larvae of the Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 62: 1-32 (page 21, larva described)