By Mark Deyrup
Ants are commonplace to each naturalist, ecologist, entomologist, and pest keep an eye on operator. The identity of the 233 species of Florida ants is technically tough, and knowledge on Florida ants is dispersed between 1000s of technical magazine articles. This ebook makes use of certain and gorgeous medical drawings for handy id. To such a lot Florida biologists ants are at the moment the main inaccessible team of conspicuous and intrusive bugs. This booklet solves the dual difficulties of ant identity and the extreme fragmentation of normal heritage information regarding Florida ants.
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Extra info for Ants of Florida: identification and natural history
This species is usually dark brown, but reddish brown, probably callow individuals can be found, and could be confused with punctatissima. The mesopleuron of opacior is slightly granulate, while that of punctatissima is smooth and shining. The petiole of opacior is more elevated than that of punctatissima, but this difference is best seen by comparing specimens of the two species. Queen punctatissima are dark brown, like those of opacior, but have a smooth and shining mesopleuron. Male opacior have light brown wing veins, unlike the transparent wing veins of opaciceps.
With large series, these forms can usually be seen to intergrade. The revision by Baroni Urbani and De Andrade (2003) seems to have cleared up these problems in the Nearctic fauna. Male Proceratium can be collected in Malaise traps or other flight traps, which may reveal the presence of a species whose colonies are difficult to find. At the Archbold Biological Station (Highlands County), pergandei is known only from males, although the ants of this site have been studied for more than 20 years.
In feeding tests, the favored prey was Diplura of the family Campodeidae. Workers use fragments of old pupal cocoons to “wallpaper” the pupal galleries, probably to reduce moisture. Workers produce edible eggs and present them to the queen. Foraging workers show a “foot-dragging” behavior, and in a later paper, Hölldobler et al. (1992) show that a trail pheromone is exuded from a previously unknown gland in the hind basitarsi. The male is known from collections, but apparently has not been described.