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Pogonomyrmex Identification Request


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#1 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 15 2023 - 2:32 PM

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Alrighty guys, Subnitidus is at the top of my possibility list and I’ve got some shots of the queen! If you or anyone you know is a expert on Pogonomyrmex I would love some help identifying these girls!
*bonus vid of a worker with a egg stuck to her at the end*
1. Location of collection: Victorville, California�
2. Date of collection: 6-29-2023�
3. Habitat of collection: High Desert at 2940ft Elevation �
4. Color, hue, pattern and texture: Light honey brown coloration with white hairs and a slightly darker reddish brown gaster.�
5. Distinguishing characteristics: Four small propodeal spines in a line from left to right of the top back side of the propodeum.�
6. Anything else distinctive: Moves in a wasp like motion typical of P. californicus (desert bicolor variety)�
7. Nest description: Have not been able to locate a nest.
*Californicus not a possibility due to the presence of propodeal spines*

#2 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted September 15 2023 - 2:35 PM

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#3 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 15 2023 - 2:45 PM

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Super sorry! I was on safari version and couldn’t figure it out LOL. Grabbed the app and will be attaching photos.


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#4 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 15 2023 - 3:01 PM

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4c1f2b769b59ebaa553f360a9ff3c45a.jpg


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#5 Offline ReignofRage - Posted September 15 2023 - 3:34 PM

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It does appear to be P. subnitidus based on the propodeal denticles and the circumocular striae being longitudinal. Victorville is a very peculiar locale for the species.


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#6 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted September 15 2023 - 5:00 PM

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Looks like Pogonomyrmex subnitidus to me


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#7 Offline gcsnelling - Posted September 15 2023 - 7:16 PM

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I agree, VV would be a totally off the wall location for this species. However if you get up into the mtns south of there it would be a possibility.


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#8 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 15 2023 - 7:30 PM

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It does appear to be P. subnitidus based on the propodeal denticles and the circumocular striae being longitudinal. Victorville is a very peculiar locale for the species.

I personally have yet to see a colony of these guys while out in the field so it makes sense that this isn’t their stomping grounds. The closest mountains I have to me would be in Apple Valley! Thanks so much for the help man I really appreciate it!!


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#9 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 15 2023 - 7:32 PM

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I agree, VV would be a totally off the wall location for this species. However if you get up into the mtns south of there it would be a possibility.

I thought it was Maricopa at first due to how they move! Just like a fast wasp with the but up in the sky. They would also be a unlikely suspect but it was one I was favoring/hoping for LOL.


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#10 Offline ReignofRage - Posted September 15 2023 - 8:13 PM

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It's a bit of a stretch, but the 28th of June did have very strong North-blowing winds, that did surpass 20mph, from the foot hills of the mountains straight to Victorville and other surrounding area. It's not totally impossible one or a few alates got caught in the wind as it did happen around the time of day the species flies.


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#11 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 15 2023 - 8:38 PM

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It's a bit of a stretch, but the 28th of June did have very strong North-blowing winds, that did surpass 20mph, from the foot hills of the mountains straight to Victorville and other surrounding area. It's not totally impossible one or a few alates got caught in the wind as it did happen around the time of day the species flies.

Doesn’t sound to far fetched. I feel it necessary to mention I found 10 wondering around the same small patch of land.


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#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 15 2023 - 11:08 PM

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I thought you must have been way off on your ID at first, but after seeing the pictures, I was a bit surprised like everyone else. Interesting. The wasp-like movement seems a little weird for P. subnitidus though.

 

I still want to know what it was that some guy I sold ants to a few years ago saw in that same area that he described exactly as Acromyrmex.


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#13 Offline PurdueEntomology - Posted September 16 2023 - 3:40 AM

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It does appear to be P. subnitidus based on the propodeal denticles and the circumocular striae being longitudinal. Victorville is a very peculiar locale for the species.

From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the  epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal  denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait?  To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits.  Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined.  Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World

 

 

I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID.  As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where  species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations.  I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters.  Caio!


Edited by PurdueEntomology, September 16 2023 - 6:50 AM.

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#14 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 16 2023 - 5:27 AM

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I thought you must have been way off on your ID at first, but after seeing the pictures, I was a bit surprised like everyone else. Interesting. The wasp-like movement seems a little weird for P. subnitidus though.

I still want to know what it was that some guy I sold ants to a few years ago saw in that same area that he described exactly as Acromyrmex.

Man that’s wild! If I had to put a bet on a area that they would be in here it would be Rocky View nature park, but I have yet to see any there!


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#15 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 16 2023 - 5:48 AM

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It does appear to be P. subnitidus based on the propodeal denticles and the circumocular striae being longitudinal. Victorville is a very peculiar locale for the species.

From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait? To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits. Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined. Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World


I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID. As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations. I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters. Caio!
Thank you so much for your input!! I will definitely be snagging some workers when the colony reaches the proper size so I can get some more conclusive shots on a steady subject. I’ll be continuing to go out searching for the mother colony or at least a colony of similar Pogonomyrmex. I’ve seen 3 distinct *large* Pogonomyrmex species in my area over the last 19-20 years of herping around the desert and I have a definite ID on two of them. The third only is found surrounding the waters of Mojave Narrows Nature park for whatever reason. (Not sure on the exact ID so I guess it’s the best bet at being these girls for now but I genuinely don’t think so.) The other two are 100% Pogonomyrmex Rugosus and Pogonomyrmex Californicus Bi-Color with Veromessor Pergandei being the only other *large* harvester competing for food in the same areas. Pergandei and Rugosus specifically have been popping up in every single area/micro habitat you could imagine so these girls being forced to fly away from the river ( if they indeed came from there ) to find more space to thrive makes sense! Again, I can’t confirm nor deny that the species surrounding the lake is this Pogonomyrmex, but now that I’m sure it isn’t a Californicus I’ll be taking the identification a-little more seriously since I’m so interested in knowing if I’ll be seeing a new Pogonomyrmex making it’s debut in the city! No matter what I will be thoroughly enjoying these girls. OH.. and I’m so sorry about the image quality, I’m not a VIP so when I post it it’s downgraded quite a bit. Posting this next picture as a file to see if it helps with quality at all lol.IMG_7893.jpg


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#16 Offline PurdueEntomology - Posted September 16 2023 - 6:55 AM

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It does appear to be P. subnitidus based on the propodeal denticles and the circumocular striae being longitudinal. Victorville is a very peculiar locale for the species.

From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait? To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits. Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined. Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World


I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID. As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations. I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters. Caio!
Thank you so much for your input!! I will definitely be snagging some workers when the colony reaches the proper size so I can get some more conclusive shots on a steady subject. I’ll be continuing to go out searching for the mother colony or at least a colony of similar Pogonomyrmex. I’ve seen 3 distinct *large* Pogonomyrmex species in my area over the last 19-20 years of herping around the desert and I have a definite ID on two of them. The third only is found surrounding the waters of Mojave Narrows Nature park for whatever reason. (Not sure on the exact ID so I guess it’s the best bet at being these girls for now but I genuinely don’t think so.) The other two are 100% Pogonomyrmex Rugosus and Pogonomyrmex Californicus Bi-Color with Veromessor Pergandei being the only other *large* harvester competing for food in the same areas. Pergandei and Rugosus specifically have been popping up in every single area/micro habitat you could imagine so these girls being forced to fly away from the river ( if they indeed came from there ) to find more space to thrive makes sense! Again, I can’t confirm nor deny that the species surrounding the lake is this Pogonomyrmex, but now that I’m sure it isn’t a Californicus I’ll be taking the identification a-little more seriously since I’m so interested in knowing if I’ll be seeing a new Pogonomyrmex making it’s debut in the city! No matter what I will be thoroughly enjoying these girls. OH.. and I’m so sorry about the image quality, I’m not a VIP so when I post it it’s downgraded quite a bit. Posting this next picture as a file to see if it helps with quality at all lol.attachicon.gifIMG_7893.jpg


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Living in Middle Tennessee I do to have access to endemic Pogonomyrmex spp.  thus my familiarity with them is purely academic.  I did though this year buy queens of P. occidentalis and P. badius which have slowly been getting workers. Perhaps when I have a number of workers I will point from each species and go through a taxonomic key just to familiarize myself with actually seeing the morphological characters (present or absent) in this genus;


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#17 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 16 2023 - 6:59 AM

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It does appear to be P. subnitidus based on the propodeal denticles and the circumocular striae being longitudinal. Victorville is a very peculiar locale for the species.

From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait? To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits. Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined. Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World


I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID. As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations. I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters. Caio!
Thank you so much for your input!! I will definitely be snagging some workers when the colony reaches the proper size so I can get some more conclusive shots on a steady subject. I’ll be continuing to go out searching for the mother colony or at least a colony of similar Pogonomyrmex. I’ve seen 3 distinct *large* Pogonomyrmex species in my area over the last 19-20 years of herping around the desert and I have a definite ID on two of them. The third only is found surrounding the waters of Mojave Narrows Nature park for whatever reason. (Not sure on the exact ID so I guess it’s the best bet at being these girls for now but I genuinely don’t think so.) The other two are 100% Pogonomyrmex Rugosus and Pogonomyrmex Californicus Bi-Color with Veromessor Pergandei being the only other *large* harvester competing for food in the same areas. Pergandei and Rugosus specifically have been popping up in every single area/micro habitat you could imagine so these girls being forced to fly away from the river ( if they indeed came from there ) to find more space to thrive makes sense! Again, I can’t confirm nor deny that the species surrounding the lake is this Pogonomyrmex, but now that I’m sure it isn’t a Californicus I’ll be taking the identification a-little more seriously since I’m so interested in knowing if I’ll be seeing a new Pogonomyrmex making it’s debut in the city! No matter what I will be thoroughly enjoying these girls. OH.. and I’m so sorry about the image quality, I’m not a VIP so when I post it it’s downgraded quite a bit. Posting this next picture as a file to see if it helps with quality at all lol.attachicon.gifIMG_7893.jpg


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Living in Middle Tennessee I do to have access to endemic Pogonomyrmex spp. thus my familiarity with them is purely academic. I did though this year buy queens of P. occidentalis and P. badius which have slowly been getting workers. Perhaps when I have a number of workers I will point from each species and go through a taxonomic key just to familiarize myself with actually seeing the morphological characters (present or absent) in this genus;
let me know when that journey starts man! I can get you some P. rugosus and P. californicus bi - color workers as well as the mystery Sp at the river!


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#18 Offline ReignofRage - Posted September 16 2023 - 12:01 PM

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From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the  epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal  denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait?  To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits.  Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined.  Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World

 

 

 

 

I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID.  As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where  species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations.  I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters.  Caio!

 

 

I used a plethora of P. subnitidus that I have examined and countless collections I have done myself, rather than publications. I used the term "denticle" in reference to the propodeal spines after looking at the second picture because P. subnitidus can have rather long spines and just wanted to make a differentiation. Here's a picture of the other extreme of their spine development.

 

med_gallery_5829_2142_71474.jpg

 

I didn't go over other morphological traits, since it's redundant. There isn't much hesitation to be had surrounding the identification of the species. The third image doesn't show the striae well, however it is clear there are some longitudinal striae, which wouldn't occur in the other similar species of the area.


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#19 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 16 2023 - 1:07 PM

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From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait? To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits. Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined. Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World




I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID. As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations. I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters. Caio!


I used a plethora of P. subnitidus that I have examined and countless collections I have done myself, rather than publications. I used the term "denticle" in reference to the propodeal spines after looking at the second picture because P. subnitidus can have rather long spines and just wanted to make a differentiation. Here's a picture of the other extreme of their spine development.

med_gallery_5829_2142_71474.jpg

I didn't go over other morphological traits, since it's redundant. There isn't much hesitation to be had surrounding the identification of the species. The third image doesn't show the striae well, however it is clear there are some longitudinal striae, which wouldn't occur in the other similar species of the area.
oh dang, those are some big spines! Is it normal for there to be 4 spines rather then 2?


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#20 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 16 2023 - 1:08 PM

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From Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the Word the epinotal spines are short, sub triangular, very sharp, directed strongly backward and only weakly upward. From the 2nd image with the lateral view epinotal spines are present. As for the proposal denticles which image are you referencing that they are easily discernible and also the taxonomic reference you are citing for this specific morphological trait? To me circumocular striae are not so easily clear from the images offered thus I would hesitate on using them. Also, from Bolton from the 2nd image in lateral view, anterior declivity of petiolar node straight, apex rather acute, dorsum distinctly convex. The second image seems to conform to this set of traits. Upshot, from what I could discern from Bolton's queen description and the clarity of the images offered I would tentatively concur it being P. subnitidus until non-nanitic workers are examined. Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World




I would wait for non-nanitic workers to be produced, point a couple and then make a more definitive ID. As is often the case queens may have dissimilar morphological characters then workers. Unless one only has 1 or 2 species of a particular genus currently established in one's area where species complexes occur only tedious and meticulous morphological analysis with GOOD images or specimens in the ID'ers hands can one I believe narrow down a species ascription, otherwise it is very difficult to ascertain definitive species limits and determinations. I hope you have success with this queen though and that you enjoy her and her daughters. Caio!


I used a plethora of P. subnitidus that I have examined and countless collections I have done myself, rather than publications. I used the term "denticle" in reference to the propodeal spines after looking at the second picture because P. subnitidus can have rather long spines and just wanted to make a differentiation. Here's a picture of the other extreme of their spine development.

med_gallery_5829_2142_71474.jpg

I didn't go over other morphological traits, since it's redundant. There isn't much hesitation to be had surrounding the identification of the species. The third image doesn't show the striae well, however it is clear there are some longitudinal striae, which wouldn't occur in the other similar species of the area.
I will likely need to get some better photos so you can see what I mean, or maybe you know what I’m referring to and they aren’t spines but something else?


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