Sub family Myrmicinal

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Subfamily Myrmicinae Subfamily Myrmicinae General Characteristics: Habitat: Largest subfamily - Deserts to tropical forests - Members of this subfamily have stingers or have modified stingers - Petiole and postpetiole are present - Origin of the antennae is covered by lobes and lobes continue into the frontal carinae Behavior: - Aggressive to docile Compiled by Hilda Taylor

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Genus Acromyrmex (Fungus Growing Ants) Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: Antennae with 11 segments - Mostly grasslands, also in deserts Body covered with spines - Common in tropics Gaster with tubercles (bumps) - Feed on fungus they grow Polymorphic - Possibly feed on juices of the plants they cut Behavior: Cut grass to grow fungus Cut leaves of Stinking Gourd (Cucurbita foetidisima), in Chihuahuan Desert Aggressive, they bite Note: Bigger than Trachymyrmex, spp.

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Genus Aphaenogaster Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: Slender elegant ants - Chihuahuan Desert Long legs - Mexico – Mountains in Veracruz Spines on propodeum normally or angled structures 12 segmented antennae Behavior: Active early in the morning and late in the evening - Aggressive

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Genus Atta Leaf Cutting Ants Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: 11 segmented antennae - Found in tropical forests: Big shinny head = South America in Argentina Strongly polymorphic: and Brazil = soldiers are very different from = Mexico tiny workers = USA in East Texas (oak forests), = need soldiers for identification Oregon Pipe Cactus in Arizona Behavior: Aggressive, specially big workers Grow fungi

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Genus Cardiocondyla Spines/Angles Penducle Rounded Petiole Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: 12 segmented antennae - New World, South America up Clypeus sticks up like a point above mandibles to Brazil Propodeum with spines or angles - Found all over the place: Penducle – long = tropics Petiole – rounded smoothly = deserts (Indio in pitfalls) Tiny ants = California (C. etiopa) Males look like workers, but have big mandibles - Nest in the ground and have no wings Behavior: Not aggressive, too small

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Genus Cephalotes Spines Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: Head, mesosoma and propodeum with spines - Tropical, mesic habitats Very large ant, beautiful ant - Mexico Polymorphic - USA in Arizona, but very rare Dark brown, dull - Nest in big dead branches (~ 2” Zacryptocerus spp.also has lateral spines on in diam) and hollow twigs the body - Nest possibly in termite mounds Behavior: Not aggressive, do not sting Move jerky-like Note: As of 2000 the above were synonymized with genus Cephalotes Minor Worker Major Worker

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Genus Crematogaster Acrobat Ants Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: Gaster looks like a heart - USA and Mexico Petiole is hooked up to top part of the gaster - Found everywhere: Monomorphic: = under rocks, ground, trees, twigs = males and females look the same = Chih. Desert on Creosote bush = bicolor, brown and yellow (Larrea tridentata) Raise gaster over the mesosoma when placed in alcohol (same as Azteca, spp) Behavior: Aggressive, can sting but does not hurt much Sting sprays paint as defense mechanism

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Genus Cyphomyrmex Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: Head: - Ranges from north New Mexico to = Lobes hide the point of origin of the antennae and Argentina join with the frontal carinae. - Common in tropical forests, also = The carinae extend all the way back of the head in arid zones like the Chihuahuan = Rounded structures on top of head resemble horns Desert - Alitrunk – full of bumps, may have tiny spines - Use dung from catepillars as Gaster – tubercles similar to Acromyrmex, spp., substrate for fungus but not as sharp Behavior: - Not aggressive - Slow - Play dead

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Genus Leptothorax Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: 11 or 12 antennal segments - Found everywhere: Antennal club has 3 segments = under rocks, dead logs, in the Mexican species have no spines, all others do ground, in roots Macromischa, spp – 11 antennal segments, convex - Some are parasitic on other ants alitrunk and have very long peduncle (Mex.) - Common Nesomyrmex, spp – 11 or 12 antennal segments, - L. whitford lives in branches petiole and postpetiole covered with spines (Mex.) Behavior: - Not aggressive if left alone - L. whitford is the only aggressive species Leptothrax Spines Spines Spines spine Peduncle Peduncle (Most common ant)

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Genus Manica Descriptive Characteristics: Habitat: Same group as Pogonomyrmex (they are Harvester ants) - USA in north New Mexico, = Pogonomyrmex, Myrmica, and Manica have Colorado, California comb-like tibial spurs (pectinate) on mid and hind legs - May not find in Mexico 12 segmented antennae - Nest in the ground in pine and Depression present between mesonotum and and juniper forests propodeum -Rounded petiole Behavior: - Docile, do not sting

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Genus Megalomyrmex Descriptive characteristics: Habitat: 12 segmented antennae - Tropical 3 segmented club - Not in the USA Oval head - Found under rocks nesting in the soil Yellowish color, smooth and shinny pretty blond ants - May find in Mexico, not common Big ants ~ ½” long Petiole and postpetiole have same shape Rounded mesosoma Behavior: - Not very aggressive

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