Date: 8/9/21 and 8/10/21
Size: 4.5 mm
Time of nuptial flight: Sunrise
Weather: Just rained the night of/day before
Distinguishing behaviors: These queens will immediately play dead if you shine light on them.
I found 11 of these queens yesterday morning and this morning combined, and at first glance it seemed obvious that they were Tetramorium bicarinatum. However, there are several key differences:
1. The propodeal spine on these queens is much shorter than T. bicarinatum, and there is only one pair of them located at the center back, unlike T. bicarinatum who have a sort of "double" pair of spines.
2. The petiole node on the unknown queens is much smaller and more triangular than all other polygynous Tetramorium in the U.S. (check for yourself if you want, just in case I missed one).
3. These queens are distinguished from a lot of other Tetramorium because of their larger (relatively) size.
Here are some photos:
Maybe I'm totally incorrect on the genus, and am looking at these queens the wrong way. Input is appreciated.