Monday Night Mystery

We’ve gone an awful long time without doing an ant mystery. This is an ant blog, after all, so tonight’s challenge returns to our myrmecological roots:

What ant is that?

Five points to the first person to guess the genus, and five more to the first to guess the species. Correct guesses must be accompanied by supporting character information to receive full credit.

The cumulative points winner for the month of June will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my photo galleries, or 2) a guest post here on Myrmecos.

Good luck!

18 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery”

  1. Stenamma brevicorne? Of the small Illionois myrmicines that might resemble this, Temnothroax isn’t as sculptured, Tetramorium’s sculpturing is different, and no other Stenamma has sculpturing like this.

  2. I suggest Leptothorax sp.: antennae with 12 antennomeres; weak/absent “mesoepinotal” suture (i.e. “boxy alitrunk”); median lobe of clypeus without longitudinal carina, which separates Leptothorax (carina absent) from Temnothorax (carina present).

    1. I’m at least confident with the genus. Looks like it has the right number of antennae segments, dorsum of the head has a slight grove, head seems to have the same general texture, scapes are about the right distance apart on the head, eyes are to the side and same general shape… that dull spot above the mandibles is there. Body color looks similar with legs lighter, same or very similar overall texture. The mesosoma has a slight lip behind head, pro and mesonotum seem fused together more than typical. Waist segments looks nice and bulky so, Yes, lots of things lining up correctly here. Vollenhovia emeryi.

  3. can you find her in the Amazon? is it tiny tiny? is it monomorphic? cause I may have got it as a rare one in one of my baits, Now, I’m very curious, what is it? I dont think it’s Temnothorax as it(in the pic) seems to have a depression b/w the propodeo and mesonotum :$

  4. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Night Mystery: Vollenhovia – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

  5. James.C. Trager

    Good job MrILTA! My first thought was Stenamma, but no… Then I
    didn’t have time to follow. Have you seen this one around your area, yet?

    1. My first thought was Tetramorium, but none of those fit so I ran with Ben’s suggestion of Temnothorax. After exhausting all of those I went though all the unusual stuff in Myrmicinae including 6 or so genera that have fewer than 3 species in them represented in the US. Finally I got to the letter V. It doesn’t match perfectly with the ant web pictures, doesn’t look as hairy, legs should be bulkier… all of which I passed off as it’s at least in the genus, maybe another species or maybe just normal colony variation.

      I haven’t encountered Vollenhovia emeryi here that I know of. Apparently I’ve had Stenamma running around in my yard for years I’ve simply been calling Temnothorax. One of these days I’ll get a microscope and sort the Myrmicinae mess I have here out.

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