Microscope for Identification

Help with identifying the species your ants

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Parant
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:20 am
Location: Kentucky

Microscope for Identification

Post: # 84567Post Parant
Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:44 am

I’m new to ant identification. Does anyone have dissecting microscope or magnifications recommendations to see the characters necessary to identify species?

Any dichotomous key recommendations for United States ants?

Thanks!

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antnest8
Posts: 1440
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Microscope for Identification

Post: # 84868Post antnest8
Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:02 pm

Parant wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:44 am
I’m new to ant identification. Does anyone have dissecting microscope or magnifications recommendations to see the characters necessary to identify species?

Any dichotomous key recommendations for United States ants?

Thanks!
Greetings to the Forums!!

When it comes to ant Identification, there are frequent instances when a Microscope is needed to differ between species. However, usually when this occurs, it is not as necessary because the care needed for both species is indistinguishable. Only in rare cases such as when dealing with the leaf-cutter genus's of Acromyrmex and Atta or social-parasites is an exact identification needed.

Some basic fundamentals of identification can be found in a post I made a while ago
https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=19083

Since the most common distinguishing feature used to identify the exact species of ant is Pili (hair), your Microscope should be set so you can see the hairs characteristics. So probably no more than 300x magnification, 50x would be just fine for a majority of species

For more in-depth guides for ant identification and and dichotomous keys you can find some at these resources...
https://www.antweb.org/
http://mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/Researchtaxapages/Formicidaepages/Identification.Keys.htm#.WxW3LYoh2AY
http://www.navajonature.org/ants/navajo-ants.html
https://hol.osu.edu/
http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Species_Accounts
https://antwiki.org/wiki/Hair_Shape
https://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Ant_Identification
Some of My Informative Sheets
https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19099
Includes :
  • Ant Care Sheets
    Queen Hunting
    How To Identify Ants
Goal is to become #2 poster on the forum

Parant
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:20 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Microscope for Identification

Post: # 85580Post Parant
Wed Dec 01, 2021 7:10 pm

Thank you! The links were extremely helpful.

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