Monday Night Mystery: Crown of Thorns

I’ve been easy on you guys recently. In honor of Labor Day, then, I’m going to make you Labor for tonight’s challenge.

Here are two similarly spiny ants:

Ant A

Ant B

Myrmecos Points will be awarded as follows:

4 points for guessing the genus of Ant A
4 points for guessing the genus of Ant B
2 points for the telling me whether the spines are evolutionarily convergent or synapomorphic (=shared from a common spiny ancestor).

Correct guesses must be supported by character information (for the IDs) or references (for the evolution question).

As usual, the cumulative points winner for the month of September will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my photo galleries, or 2) a guest post here at Myrmecos on a safe-for-work topic of their choosing.

5 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery: Crown of Thorns”

  1. Ant B: Proatta (rounded (humped) spines)

    Spines are convergent (first described in Forel 1912 and discussed in detail in Hölldobler and Wilson 1990, p. 604)

  2. I’d say Ant A is Mycocepurus sp. and B is Proatta butteli. As Scot already pointed out, the spines are almost certainly convergent. The tribe Attini was shown to be rather distant relative of Proatta by the recent significant molecular phylogenies (Moreau et al. 2006, Schultz & Brady 2008), although at times it was suggested the ants may be related…

  3. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Night Mystery: Proatta and the Attines – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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