Your vote will help determine Forelius pruinosus’s new common name


I promised myself I’d refrain from political postings for a while. But when ants are involved and passions rise, how can I abstain?

The Your Wildlife/School of Ants crew has been soliciting suggestions for a new common name for Forelius pruinosus, one of North America’s most abundant ants. They have finally distilled the entries to four finalists:

Barricade Ant – Forelius pruinosus use chemical defenses and elaborate teamwork to barricade the colony openings of ants four times larger than themselves during foraging.

Blockade Ant
 – F. pruinosus does not allow other ants to leave their nests if they’ve found something delicious nearby; they surround their competitors’ nest and shoot chemicals out of their butts!

High-Noon Ant
 – F. pruinosus have been described as thermophilic, or heat-loving, and are typically the only ants actively foraging at noon when the sun is at its highest. This is one of the best ways for ant scientists to collect them – go out at the hottest part of the day and you’ll even be likely to find a F. pruinosus!

Highway Ant – F. pruinosus forms thick trails as they forage during the day, they form wide ant highways as they travel from a food source back to their nest.

Disclaimer: “Highway Ant” was my suggestion. It’s also quite obviously the best. So, do your patriotic duty as good civiliANTS and…


(note: it’s also a near-certainty that whatever the outcome, I will continue calling these by their proper Latin name, Forelius. It’s not that hard to remember.)

10 thoughts on “Your vote will help determine Forelius pruinosus’s new common name”

  1. On the bottom side of the world I’m not going to vote, but I would like to suggest another Myrmecos quiz. Maybe Wednesday night should be ‘Name an ant’. Monomorium is crying out for a common name and I’m starting with ‘bead ant’ or ‘bobble-bead ant’ because that’s what they look like from above – a string of beads.

  2. I like High-Noon ant, because it elicits an image of these ants running out along their orderly trails (highways, if you will) from their nest in a dusty path at the edge of an old western or Mexican town, a way in which I’ve encountered them on many occasions in my life of ant watching.

  3. I like High Noon ants too, because the way they confront a superior enemy evocates the movie of the same name starring Gary Cooper.

Leave a Reply