Solenopsis sp. and..... (Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Help with identifying the species your ants

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Ruaidhri
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: cancun

Solenopsis sp. and..... (Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Post: # 55211Post Ruaidhri
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:41 pm

Good evening,

Whilst having a wander this evening I came across a small nest with a mound 1 -2 inches across and a single entrance on a dirt road next to some scrubby jungle. There were hundreds of tiny workers (2-3mm) and a few larger (what I thought were) majors (4-5mm) around the entrance. Peacefully coexisting....

I scooped up a couple of the workers and a major into a test tube and brought it back to ID (I'm brand new to this so I'm checking everything I find, to see what I might end up with when nuptial flights start..)

Back at the house, magnifying glass in hand (after about 3/4 of an hour of happy and peaceful test tube co-existence) I turned back from the computer to find one of the workers riding the 'major' and viciously stinging it in the head... 'till dead.... Now I in my innocence thought I'd got some Pheidole sp. which was exciting, but I was unsure that this was normal Pheidole behavior (at this point I should point out that I'm color blind....)

My investigations took a different turn...at this point I'm going to apologize for the photos..I know that some of them are little more than silhouettes, but I don't have a macro lens, or even a DSLR and these ants were tiny..I did my best.

Now I'm pretty sure that Ant #1 (the 'major') is/was a Solenopsis sp. (invictus possibly, although the mandibles seem big and the antennae seem a little long)

ant#1

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But the smaller ants have got me stumped.

The next photo is to give an idea of the relative sizes of the ants, I know there's no ID coming from this one.

Image

So our psychotic worker has a head that is about twice the size of it's gaster, massive mandibles, crazy long antenna and is capable of riding and stinging Solenopsis (invicta???) to death....in the head.. (it was a little traumatic to see, I'm not going to lie)

Ant#2

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I've been through the AntMaps site and the AntWiki page for each of the native Solenopsis to Quintana Roo and I can't nail it down, so even if you can't give me an ID then idea of some other keys that I can use would be great, or if it's not Solenopsis then I can wander off on my merry way and look at some other genera.

Thanks in advance

R

Ruaidhri
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: cancun

Re: Solenopsis sp. and..... (Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Post: # 55212Post Ruaidhri
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:55 pm

So the second photo of Ant #1 is actually Ant #2..

I posted the wrong one, this is the photo I meant to post, even though it's horrible, at least one can see the length of the mandibles and antennae, and the relative sizes of head and gaster.

Image

sorry if this is confusing

Cheers all

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