How to Id ants

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants

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Aquaexploder
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:55 am
Location: Rhode Island

How to Id ants

Post: # 21536Post Aquaexploder
Mon May 22, 2017 4:14 pm

So I kind of noticed that right now I am kind of in the scenario like the saying "give a man a fish he eats for a day" ( this refers to when I post ID request and get an answer. So in a way I would like to learn "how to fish" so I can ID my own ants. Any good taxonomic keys that I can follow?
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Tetramorium (x2)

Martialis
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: How to Id ants

Post: # 21537Post Martialis
Mon May 22, 2017 4:34 pm

Antwiki has quite a few on there. Batspiderfish might be able to name a few also.

It is very important to know an ant's anatomy to identify it, though. So here's a couple of charts for that:

Image
(ignore the fact that this is a Ponerine ant. ;))

Image

This goes right along with subfamily identification, which is very important.

In your area, there are five different subfamilies; the most common being Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and Myrmicinae. Telling that an ant is from Myrmicinae is relatively easy compared to Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. This is because myrmicine ants have both a petiole and post-petiole which are distinct. Myrmicine ants of RI are: Aphaenogaster, Crematogaster, Temnothorax, Myrmica, Stennama, Monomorium, Tetramorium, and Myrmecina.

In Formicinae, all ants have an acidopore used for spraying formic acid. They also have only the petiole present, which may resemble a "spike" of sorts. Formicine ants in your area include Camponotus, Formica, Lasius, Nylanderia, and Prenolepis.

Dolichoderine ants, on the other hand, resemble formicine ones but lack the acidopore. The ants you'll find in this subfamily in your area are the genera Dolichoderus and Tapinoma.

Outliers which should be much easier to identify are the Ponerine genus Ponera (of which there's only one species this far north) and Stigmatomma, belonging to Amblyoponiae.
Keeper of

Formica sp.

Tetramorium caespitum

Camponotus chromaiodes

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Aquaexploder
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:55 am
Location: Rhode Island

Re: How to Id ants

Post: # 21539Post Aquaexploder
Mon May 22, 2017 5:01 pm

Martialis wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 4:34 pm
Antwiki has quite a few on there. Batspiderfish might be able to name a few also.

It is very important to know an ant's anatomy to identify it, though. So here's a couple of charts for that:

Image
(ignore the fact that this is a Ponerine ant. ;))

Image

This goes right along with subfamily identification, which is very important.

In your area, there are five different subfamilies; the most common being Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and Myrmicinae. Telling that an ant is from Myrmicinae is relatively easy compared to Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. This is because myrmicine ants have both a petiole and post-petiole which are distinct. Myrmicine ants of RI are: Aphaenogaster, Crematogaster, Temnothorax, Myrmica, Stennama, Monomorium, Tetramorium, and Myrmecina.

In Formicinae, all ants have an acidopore used for spraying formic acid. They also have only the petiole present, which may resemble a "spike" of sorts. Formicine ants in your area include Camponotus, Formica, Lasius, Nylanderia, and Prenolepis.

Dolichoderine ants, on the other hand, resemble formicine ones but lack the acidopore. The ants you'll find in this subfamily in your area are the genera Dolichoderus and Tapinoma.

Outliers which should be much easier to identify are the Ponerine genus Ponera (of which there's only one species this far north) and Stigmatomma, belonging to Amblyoponiae.
Ok thanks
Founding:

Camponotus nearcticus (x1)

Prenolepis imparis (x3)

Myrmica (Unknown) (x1)

Tetramorium (x2)

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