Polyergus species groups

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These species groups are based on: Trager, J.C. 2013. Global revision of the dulotic ant genus Polyergus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Formicinae, Formicini). Zootaxa 3722, 501–548.

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Polyergus rufescens-breviceps group

Alate female, ergatoid and worker castes mostly red in color, with varying degrees of infuscation of the lower mesosoma, gaster and appendages, or less often, bicolored (red foreparts with dark gaster; nanitic workers from young colonies are typically bicolored); densely pubescent on all gastral tergites. Most parasitize certain members of the Formica fusca group, but one also parasitizes several members of the F. neogagates group. Mainly western North American from British Columbia to Ontario, Canada, south through California to the highlands of Baja California and Hidalgo, Mexico, and east to the Mississippi Valley. One species occurs in much of Europe, and in Asia east to the mountains of western China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Polyergus samurai group

This group consists of two species characterized by Asian distribution east of the 90th Meridian, blackish body color (may fade to dark brown in preserved specimens), rectangular to slightly acute propodeal angle, and dorsally tapering recurved petiolar node. Both have a less compressed, more Formica–like clypeus than other Polyergus species, perhaps a more basal character state.

Polyergus lucidus group

This group comprises six, mostly eastern North American species, deep red to orange-red, often with conspicuously darker appendages, and very reduced pubescence and pilosity of the gastral dorsum. All parasitize members of the F. pallidefulva group. As a group these have relatively long appendages compared to the more pubescent, western North American species of the Polyergus breviceps complex.