Monday Night Mystery

What the heck is this entomological oddity?

I will award three points to the first commentator who can correctly guess the family, three points for the genus, and four points for the species.

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

Good luck!

[My apologies for the late posting. It is, after all, Mrs. Myrmecos’s birthday today]

27 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery”

  1. Grubbing for points:
    Formicidae
    Formicinae
    Camponotini
    Camponotus
    (Myrmaphaenus)
    ulcerosus

    The history of subgenus placement for this species is a testament to the chaos that is Camponotus subgenera:
    (Colobopsis): Forel, 1914
    (Myrmamblys): Emery, 1920
    (Manniella): Emery, 1925
    (Myrmaphaenus): Creighton, 1951
    All of these authors were competent ant taxonomists, yet none could get a handle on this mess. It would be a great, long-term project for a young myrmecologist using modern techniques and a multiplicity of characters and specimens to sort out the internal classification of Camponotus based on its phylogeny.

  2. I agree with James, It looks like the truncated head of a major of Colobopsis obliquus. Was the picture taken in NC? Maybe close to Morehead city? Just a guess…
    Happy Birthday to Jo!

    1. Thanks Benoit! Alex tells me the photo of you with the aspirator is in high demand. If the postdoc falls through you might be able rely on a modeling career.

  3. I think the oddity is the phragmotic head, which allows the major worker of Camponotus subg. Colobopsis to serve as a living door. This head shape is also seen in Crematogaster cylindricus, a twig-nesting SE Asian ant. Some Pheidole use the top of the head as the door.

    1. Well, to answer the questions:
      Family Formicidae
      Genus Camponotus
      Species ?
      Might be good for a few points if I grovel before Alex and offer my first-born nanitic Oecophylla smaragdina.

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

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