Specimen Request: Palaearctic Stenamma needed for molecular work

Stenamma sp., California.

This request comes from Michael Branstetter:

I am working on a broad-scale phylogeny of the ant genus Stenamma and am in search of fresh specimens from the Old World.  Stenamma is a cryptic genus that is most often collected in forest leaf litter.  The genus is primarily Holarctic in distribution, but also has representatives in the New World tropics.  Producing a phylogeny of the genus will help me in my quest to better understand the genus as a whole and to revise the Mesoamerican species.  In the Old World there are species records from Europe, northern Africa, Asia, Japan, and Borneo.

Specimens should be no more than 20 years old and must have been collected in 90-100% etoh.

Please mail specimens to:

Michael Branstetter
Department of Entomology
University of California, Davis
One Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616

3 thoughts on “Specimen Request: Palaearctic Stenamma needed for molecular work”

  1. Wouter Dekoninck

    dear Michael,
    in our country Belgium Western-Europe we have two Stenamma species that often give problems with identification: Stenamma debile (very common en almost everywhere) and Stenamma westwoodi only a few records of which we are sure it is this species because we were able to collect males (5 mandibular teeth whereas debile only 3). As you probably know Dubois (publications in 1993 and 1998) studied some specimens of our collection here at the RBINS in Brussels and identified two workers as S. westwoodi. According to me however one might be debile too (I’m not sure but..), just to show you the problem with identifications of worker we have here in Belgium.
    I wonder if your still working on this project and if I could be of any help for cooperation of whatever.
    Best Wishes

    1. I thought the notch shape (space between frontal lobes) was diagnostic between workers of S. debile and S. westwoodi

  2. Hallo Michael, Wouter,

    Stenamma westwoodii is also recorded here in Great Britain, and the original old British records appear to actually be that species rather than debile, though debile is the one mostly collected now. I believe that in Dutch/Flemish S. westwoodii is known as the “Engelse Drentlmier” (English slow-moving ant) – Wouter will correct me if I’m wrong here! As Wouter says, Dubois’ worker/female characters are not easy for differentiation, but Barry Bolton has an unpublished key using the shape of the anterior petiole in dorsal view, which seems to be much easier to judge. But westwoodii material is in such short supply, assessing the character may be difficult….

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