Lasius bureni

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lasius bureni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Lasius
Species: L. bureni
Binomial name
Lasius bureni
(Wing, 1968)

Lasius bureni casent0105712 profile 1.jpg

Lasius bureni casent0105712 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species is only known from the type series. Nothing is known about the biology of Lasius bureni.

Identification

Worker similar to Lasius pubescens but SI 81 or less. Crest of petiolar scale about on a level with propodeal spiracles; sharp to moderately sharp, rarely blunt; emarginate. Longer standing hairs on gula usually measuring at least 0.12 mm, those on crest of scale usually numbering 4 to 6 or more. Pubescence dense and short on dorsum of gaster, dilute to moderate and longer on gula. Most of body quite pubescent, but dorsum of alitrunk relatively free of pubescence, shining. Color brown to yellowish brown.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known only from the type locality - Comstock, Wisconson.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

This species belonged to what was long considered a separate genus (Acanthomyops). Wing (1968) published a revision of that taxon, summarizing some of their biology: These ants are exclusively subterranean in their habits, except for short periods of time just before and during nuptials. Nests are built in the soil, usually under the cover of objects such as stones or logs, but sometimes, especially in the Plains States, loosely compacted earthen mounds of varying size are made. Some taxa nest partially in rotted wood; these colonies are typically found in association with stumps and logs. Most taxa in the eastern states show a preference for fairly moist conditions, selecting fields, pastures, and woodlands as nesting sites. In the western states many taxa exhibit a greater tolerance for drier conditions in the selection of their nesting sites. Most myrmecologists believe that all species of Acanthomyops are temporary social parasites of Lasius. We have, however, very little evidence on the mode or modes of colony foundation in the genus - most of it being largely circumstantial. Work done by Tanquary (1911) represents the most determined effort to date to elucidate the nature of colony foundation in the genus. Methods of colony foundation in Acanthomyops are in critical need of solid evidence from field and laboratory studies. Many species of Acanthomyops are known to regularly attend subterranean aphids and coccids, which represent a wide variety of taxa. Probably the species whose biologies are unknown likewise subsist principally on the honeydew of these homopterous insects. At the time of the nuptial flights, which are more or less characteristic as to season for a given species, the workers in mature colonies of Acanthomyops open up the nest entrance widely by excavation. Nests in this condition are found readily even before the actual flights begin to occur. Flights occurring in natural surroundings often involve the participation of an extremely large number of alate individuals. The queens and males congregate on the ground, and, when the conditions are right, fly up into the air in large numbers. Later, many descend from their flight, often giving rise to large aggregations of ants in restricted local areas; this frequently leads to concern on the part of persons residing in the area. Nuptial flights sometimes originate from the basements of homes and stores. Confronted with the evidence of flights of the latter type, which usually take place during the winter months, occupants often fear that their buildings are infested with termites.

Castes

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • bureni. Acanthomyops bureni Wing, 1968: 135, figs. 159-167 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Combination in Lasius: Ward, 2005: 13.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Wing 1968 Acanthomyops figs. 159-167

Lasius-like, similar to pubescens, but SI 81 or less. Crest of petiolar scale about on a level with propodeal spiracles; sharp to moderately sharp, rarely blunt; emarginate. Longer standing hairs on gula usually measuring at least 0.12 mm, those on crest of scale usually numbering 4 to 6 or more. Pubescence dense and short on dorsum of gaster, dilute to moderate and longer on gula.

Most of body quite pubescent, but dorsum of alitrunk relatively free of pubescence, shining. Color brown to yellowish brown.

Queen

Lasius-like in appearance; closely related to pubescens. Crest of erect petiolar scale on level with propodeal spiracles, sharp to moderately sharp, broadly and distinctly emarginate; sides more or less straight and diverging dorsally. Standing body hairs moderate in number and length, those on dorsum of gaster largely confined to posterior edges of tergites beyond first. Standing hairs on crest and sides of scale numbering 10 or more, with a maximum length 0.16 mm or more; those on gula numbering 8 or more, their maximum length 0.20 mm or greater, those on fore femur numbering about 8, with a maximum length 0.10 mm or more. Alitrunk with longer standing hairs measuring 0.28 mm or more. Antennae very slightly clavate, SI 70-73. Body size moderate, HW 1.20 mm or more. Pubescence on dorsum of gaster dense, its surface dull. Body color deep castaneous brown, appendages a little lighter.

Pubescence on head moderately dense. Dorsum of alitrunk and declivitous face of propodeum below spiracles glabrous.

Male

Crest of petiolar scale sharp to moderately sharp, weakly and broadly emarginate. In profile, scale is approximately an equilateral triangle. A few of the longer hairs at the posterior tip of the gaster 0.20 mm or a little longer. Standing hairs on gula not exceeding 0.12 mm. Pubescence on dorsum of gaster short, dense, that on most of the rest of the body dense to moderately dense, but scutellum nearly free of pubescence, shining. Body color dark brown, appendages a little lighter, head black.

Type Material

Type locality: Comstock, Barron Co., Wisconsin.

The type series is composed of 20 queens, 39 males, and 60 workers. Location of types: Holotype queen, paratype queen, 2 paratype males, and 4 paratype workers in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Paratypes, 2 of each caste, in both the National Museum of Natural History and Cornell Collections. Rest of the type series in the W. F. Buren Collection.

Etymology

This species is named for the collector, Dr. W. F. Buren, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Bethesda, Md.

References

  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 53, catalogue)
  • Ward, P.S. 2005. A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 936: 1-68 (page 13, new combination in Lasius (Acanthomyops))
  • Wing, M. W. 1968a. Taxonomic revision of the Nearctic genus Acanthomyops (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mem. Cornell Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn. 405: 1-173 (page 135, figs. 159-167 worker, queen, male described)