In the southeastern U.S., this ant is common in open, disturbed areas with sandy soils.
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
Trager (1988) - The common yellow Dorymyrmex of disturbed soils (especially in sandy areas) in the Southeast; convexity of pronotum forms a continuous curvature with mesonotal dorsum in profile; propodeal cone generally lower and blunter than that of Dorymyrmex flavopectus.
Dorymyrmex bureni is structurally very close to D. flavopectus. It seems certain, in view of the biologies of the 2 species, that much of the literature referring to D. flavopecta in fact concerns D. bureni, following the lead of Creighton (1950) who, apparently incognizant of the ecology of Smith's species, played down the difference in color pattern of the 2 species and expanded the taxon to include any Dorymyrmex with the appropriate thoracic structure. The shorter scapes and monocalic colonies of D. bureni are the good features for distinguishing D. bureni from D. flavopectus, and the striking contrast of the clear yellow trunk and dark brown head and gaster of D. flavopectus is not seen in D. bureni.
Dorymyrmex flavus was recently reported as species distinct from Dorymyrmex insanus (Cokendolpher & Francke 1984), with which it had been synonymized by Snelling (1973). It is a Texas and southern plains-state species very similar to D. bureni in gross worker morphology and in its ecology. The angularity of the mesonotum of this similarly yellowish western species is variable, but in most workers of any nest series, the mesonotum has distinct dorsal and declivous faces. The few males of D. flavus I have seen have the small ocelli characteristic of day-flying species, which may consistently distinguish them from males of the night-flying D. bureni, when males of both are better collected.
Keys including this Species
- Key to Dorymyrmex of SE United States queens
- Key to Dorymyrmex of SE United States workers
- Key to Nearctic Dorymyrmex
Snelling (1995) - Trager (1988) gives the range of D. bureni as extending from Maryland and Virginia south to Florida and west to Mississippi. I have seen samples from several localities in Louisiana and workers collected at Columbus, Colorado County, Texas.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Trager (1988) - Dorymyrmex bureni is the characteristic yellow Dorymyrmex of roadsides, planted and fallow fields, pastures, lawns and parks throughout Florida and the Southeast, especially in areas with sandy soils. It occurs naturally in coastal dunes, and near seasonal ponds among Andropogon and other clumping grasses in "fossil" dunes. This species may be favored by appropriate cultural practices in crop systems to provide biological pest control. It is an avid predator of small arthropods in citrus and soybeans [Whitcomb et al. 1972, Elvin et al. 1983 (Dorymyrmex sp.), Tryon 1986 (Dorymyrmex edeni, nomen nudum)] is non-noxious to humans and their crop plants, and is quick to colonize newly-tilled ground. Foraging occurs in all but the hottest portion of the day in the warmer seasons and even on warm, sunny days in winter. Workers from incipient colonies are reported to be mostly nocturnal (Buren et al. 1975). Colonies normally inhabit only one nest at a time, but during the fall and spring, when nest emigrations are frequent, a colony may temporarily inhabit 2 or 3 nests.
Mating flights occur on warm nights after or even during rain from spring through fall. Peak flight activity occurs at dusk, but I have observed copulating specimens flying in low numbers to a blacklight throughout the night and even at dawn.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- bureni. Conomyrma bureni Trager, 1988: 19, figs. 2, 9, 19, 20 (w.q.) U.S.A. Combination in Dorymyrmex: Snelling, R.R. 1995: 7. Material of the nomen nudum edeni referable here: Trager, 1988: 19. Junior synonym of flavus: Johnson, C. 1989b: 187. Revived from synonymy: Snelling, R.R. 1995: 7.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
HL 0.85-1.05 (0.98), HW 0.71-1.00 (0.88), SL 0.90-1.10 (1.03), EL 0.23-0.28 (0.25), FL 0.80-1.00 (0.90), Wi, 1.08-1.40 (1.25), HTL 1.93-2.45 (2.23), C1 83.5-95.2 (89.8), S1 110.0-126.8 (117.0), or 23.8-28.6 (25.5), F1 89.8-100.0 (91.8), TI 126.7-150.6 (127.6). N =25.
General form and characters as in figures, and in key. Head widest above eyes, sides evenly convex or sometimes converging a little more strongly toward mandibular bases; occipital border weakly concave in larger workers to weakly convex in smaller ones; promesonotal curvature usually as in figure, though less arched in some small workers and many specimens from the northwestern part of the species' range. C. bureni only rarely shows even a trace of distinct basal and declivous faces in mesonotal profile.
Mandibles striate from base nearly to teeth near inner border; striae becoming increasingly obsolete distally along outer border, yielding a shining subtriangular space subtending 3 or 4 most apical teeth; fine tessellation and short, dense, whitish pubescence yield a feebly shining front and dorsum of head, and thorax; sculpture weaker and pubescence less dense on sides of head and gula, rear face of propodeum, and petiole, but stronger and denser on gaster, the former parts correspondingly shinier, gaster duller.
Color ranging from clear orange-yellow with head slightly darker and posterior part of gaster brownish, to entire body mousy brown with thorax and base of gaster a little lighter and yellower; great majority of specimens lie near the lighter end of the spectrum with part of head and posterior 112 of gaster lightly infuscate; most darker specimens observed came from coastal areas of Georgia and northeastern Florida, while the yellowest specimens came from south-central Florida.
HL 1.19-1.25, HW 1.18-1.28, SL 1.08-1.15, EL 0.40-0.43, TW 1.18-1.38, WL 2.38-2.45, HTL 3.58-3.70, C1 99.2-106.7, S1 84.4-93.2, or 32.0-34.4, TW1 93.8-107.8, T1 194.4-204.2. N = 10.
Head usually a little broader than long, occasionally slightly longer; sides of head weakly angular, convex and subparallel above midlength of eyes, straighter and convergent below; eyes notably convex, their outer margin lying close to or even protruding beyond sides of head; occipital border about as broad as clypeus, weakly convex; thorax about equal to head in width.
Sculpture as in worker; pubescence longer, thus queen a little less shiny; color of head, thorax and base of gaster usually a little darker and more reddish than in worker; remainder of gaster brown, fading to reddish near edges of tergites.
Holotype and 32 paratypes: FLORIDA, Alachua Co.: Gainesville. Emerging for mating flight from nest in lawn. 15 June 1987. James C. Trager leg. Holotype, Florida State Collection of Arthropods . Paratypes James C. Trager Collection, Florida State Collection of Arthropods , Archbold Biological Station, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Comparative Zoology, American Museum of Natural History.
C. bureni is named after the late William F. Buren, who first recognized it as a species distinct from C. flavopectus and C. flava.
- Johnson, C. 1989b. Taxonomy and diagnosis of Conomyrma insana (Buckley) and C. flava (McCook) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 3: 179-194 (page 187, Junior synonym of flavus)
- Snelling, R. R. 1995a. Systematics of Nearctic ants of the genus Dorymyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Contr. Sci. (Los Angel.) 454: 1-14 (page 7, Combination in Dorymyrmex, Revived from synonymy)
- Tschinkel, W.R. 2015. The architecture of subterranean ant nests: beauty and mystery underfoot. Journal of Bioeconomics 17:271–291 (DOI 10.1007/s10818-015-9203-6).
- Trager, J. C. 1988a. A revision of Conomyrma (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the southeastern United States, especially Florida, with keys to the species. Florida Entomologist. 71:11-29. (page 19, figs. 2, 9, 19, 20 worker, queen described; Material of the nomen nudum edeni referable here)