Answer to the Monday Night Mystery: Vollenhovia

What was that mysterious myrmicine?

It was Vollenhovia emeryi, an Asian ant introduced to the eastern United States. This species appears sporadically around Washington, D.C.  Apparently yesterday’s post posed an unusually difficult challenge- I don’t recall the last time the commentariat took more than 12 hours to solve the mystery.

Vollenhovia emeryi

So. Eight points to Mr. I Love the Ants, who arrived at the correct answer eventually.

For more on this ant:

14 thoughts on “Answer to the Monday Night Mystery: Vollenhovia”

    1. You could always use the amazing simplified ant taxonomy system seen someplace on the web that I don’t want to bother to find:

      1a) size smallish to tiny (2) [Figure 1]
      1b) size largish to scary !! (3) [Figure 2]

      2a) all black …. small black ant
      2b) all red …… small red ant
      2c) black AND red …. small black and red ant

      3a) all black …. large black ant
      3b) all red …… large red ant
      3c) black AND red …. large black and red ant

      Figure 1 …
      Figure 2 …..

      Works for me !!

        1. Indeed !! That’s the ticket —- it represents a significant contribution to simplified ant taxonomy, and you have my thanks and appreciation…..wait …..

          You went and semi-spoiled it with all that fancy-foreign-lingo-type-stuff and the sting-stuff. And how are we to incorporate the clades in those that spray vs bite vs sting or just run for it ? Also, when we find a squashed small red ant specimen on a sidewalk collecting trip, for example, how are we to judge that behavior; it just may not work out properly. Hmmm – we could add a “un//squashed” or couplet I suppose.

          Also brings to mind the famous quote from To Have And Have Not “Was you ever bit by a dead bee ?” 8/

          LOL @ Alex – survival of the LCD

  1. Hmm… no wonder I missed it. I’ve never collected it or looked it up in a collection. Very cool – I’ll need to add that to my collection sometime. Anything known about its natural history?

  2. Is this ant confined to more urban/disturbed habitat like RIFA or something that we’re beginning to find in relatively intact places as well? Also, where are they currently placed in the myrmicines?

    And finally, that’s a really weirdly-textured larva the one worker is carrying in the picture.

  3. Awesome – that was tricky. Of course, I looked at Vollenhovia in my Bolton, but I needed a view of the petiole!

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