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A new species of Acropyga (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) is described from Panama. The largest known Acropyga species in the New World, Acropyga oreithauma, new species is described and images are provided. Based on its morphology, A. oreithauma is likely closely related to A. exanguis and A. fuhrmanni. These three Acropyga are also known to enter into trophobiotic relationships with the same mealybug species, Neochavesia caldasiae.
The Bothroponera sulcata ant species complex is distributed in Afrotropical areas, including tropical and subtropical ecosystems and is part of a poorly known group of ants. The sulcata species complex now includes 10 species, including 3 new species, 2 taxa elevated to species status and 7 new synonyms: B. ancilla Emery, B. crassa Emery, B. crassior Santschi (= B. ilgii syn. nov., Pachycondyla (Bothroponera) crassa st. crassior var. andrieui referred here), B. kruegeri Forel (= B. asina syn. nov., = B. rhodesiana syn. nov.), B. notaula (sp. nov.), B. picardi Forel, B. pilosuperficia (sp. nov.), B. ryderae (sp. nov.), B. silvestrii Santschi (= B. kenyensis syn. nov., = B. nimba syn. nov.) and B. soror Emery (= B. lamottei syn. nov., =B. suturalis (syn. nov.). The main defining character of this complex is the presence of a metatibial gland; however, there are other characters such as the shape of the anterior clypeal border, mandible surface and shape, teeth number and posterior dorsopropodeal shape (broadly or strongly curved or angulated). Diagnosis, comparisons, illustrations, distributions and other information about the species are provided with a key for the worker caste.
Temnothorax allardycei (Mann) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a rarely encountered ant known only from the Bahamas and South Florida. I found a total of only 24 site records of T. allardycei, six in the Bahamas and 22 in South Florida. Temnothorax allardycei nests in plant cavities, notably in dead vines and dead stems of sawgrass, Cladium jamaicense (Cranz). All records of T. allardycei for which I have habitat data came from relatively intact natural areas, a pattern that suggests that this species is native to both the Bahamas and South Florida.
Here we report on nut-nesting ant communities in the southeastern United States. We compared species diversity, ant abundance, and nut occupancy rates among sites in five states, and report the spatial dispersion of ant colonies in nuts in relation to colony-housing opportunities created by nuts and nest-site choice. Our results indicated that species diversity and nut occupancy rates do not differ among sites or states and that ant-occupied nuts are spatially aggregated across ant species, a pattern inconsistent with spatial segregation of species that might arise in a competition-assembled community. We tested the ability of artificial nest cavities (“Mobile Artificial Ant Pods”, MAAPs) to attract ant colonies, a method for sampling the ant fauna in litter. MAAP occupancy rates were similar to occupancy rates for nearby nuts.
In July 2012, we sampled ant species in remnant and restored prairie tracts in the Platte River Prairies, managed by The Nature Conservancy of Nebraska. The sampling period coincided with TNC's July 2012 “Week of Insects”, an event which involved both general public and invited expert participation, and was an opportunity for both education and citizen science. In four days of sampling, even under severe drought conditions, we encountered 22 species of ants. Fifteen species were found in never-plowed, remnant prairies, and four species were found only in them. Thirteen species were found on restored (planted) prairies, with three of these found only in the planted prairies. Four species were exclusively associated with mature cottonwood trees near the site headquarters.
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