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Tucson, AZ 7/13/2018

solenopsis tetramorium queen

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#1 Offline giraffedom - Posted July 13 2018 - 11:03 AM

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I collected eight or so queens in a city park in Tucson, AZ around 8am the morning of 7/13/18. I found them all walking around on the sidewalk, where many colonies were already established and large. I believe I caught one Tetramorium queen and several Solenopsis queens. I'm hoping for species-specific IDs. 

 

Solenopsis sp.
Solenopsis sp.
Solenopsis sp.

 

These solenopsis queens are dark matte red on the head and thorax and dark brown/black on the gaster. Most of them has some gold stripes on the underside of her gaster. The queen in the last photo has no stripes on her gaster and has a darker head and thorax than the others. They all have triangular heads and two petiole nodes. I housed some of them together and they aren't aggressive towards other queens. What are the distinguishing characteristics among southern Arizona ant species?

 

Tetramorium sp.
Tetramorium sp.

 

This is the Tetramorium. She's shiny all over and has a circular dark brown head with black thorax and gaster. No noticable spines. Two petiole nodes. She laid an egg within 30 minutes of being placed in the test tube, but has been pulling at the cotton almost constantly since. 

 

Any ideas about the species of these ants?



#2 Offline super_oil - Posted July 13 2018 - 11:07 AM

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The queens that you believe to be Solenopsis are actually a species of Pheidole.

The other queen is most likely Solenopsis invicta.


Edited by super_oil, July 13 2018 - 11:15 AM.

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#3 Offline giraffedom - Posted July 13 2018 - 11:16 AM

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Thanks for your input! After looking at some photos I agree that the top group of photos show Pheidole queens. Thanks for the correction. I don't think the bottom is Solenopsis invicta because they haven't invaded Arizona yet beyond a few isolated appearances, but I won't completely rule it out. Could she be S. xyloni or S. aurea instead?



#4 Offline AntsBC - Posted July 13 2018 - 3:28 PM

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I think its gonna be really hard to pinpoint the ID on the Pheidole queens as there are 42 native Pheidole species in Arizona... (Try to find some local farmers to help you with that one)

As for the second queen she is either Solenopsis invicta or Monomorium ergatogyna.


Edited by AntsBC, July 13 2018 - 4:02 PM.

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#5 Online Zeiss - Posted July 13 2018 - 4:00 PM

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The first queens are Pheidole xerophila and the second queens do appear to be Solenopsis invicta.  

 

You should follow proper post protocol for requesting an ID.  It would give you a guideline for what to point out on your ants and how.  Your post is not bad at all, the format dspdrew provides is just very helpful to those attempting to help you.

 

I am only saying Solenopsis invicta for the second ants because you do not provide any lengths, characteristics, or related in your post, making it a bit harder to ID.  Try taking better pictures with more lighting.  If you are using a phone's camera, position the lens about 3 to 4 inches away from the subject, that should give the best images and do not zoom in.


Edited by Zeiss, July 13 2018 - 4:00 PM.


#6 Offline giraffedom - Posted July 13 2018 - 4:50 PM

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Hi, thanks for your help. My bad, I thought I had noted the lengths. The Pheidole queens are each 6mm, and the Solenopsis (?) is 8mm. Next time I'll copy and paste the guide. I tried to get some better photos with my phone. Do these help? 

 

queen
queen
queen
queen
queen


#7 Offline LC3 - Posted July 13 2018 - 5:02 PM

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Yes definitely SolenopsisMonomorium queens are around 4mm. I believe this is actually the dark coloured variant of Solenopsis xyloni based on the gaster. 


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#8 Online Zeiss - Posted July 13 2018 - 5:49 PM

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Yes definitely SolenopsisMonomorium queens are around 4mm. I believe this is actually the dark coloured variant of Solenopsis xyloni based on the gaster. 

I do agree that it looks like Solenopsis xyloni, but I have just never seen them with that dark of a color form before.  



#9 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted July 13 2018 - 6:07 PM

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The dark form of Solenopsis xyloni is about as conspicuous as its bright-red form.

http://www.tightloop...p?species_id=43


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#10 Online Zeiss - Posted July 13 2018 - 6:16 PM

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The dark form of Solenopsis xyloni is about as conspicuous as its bright-red form.

http://www.tightloop...p?species_id=43

The ones I have collected and seen in my area have never been that dark, so that's new to me.







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