specimens for revision of Polyergus

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specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:43 pm

Hello all. On the moderator's suggestion, I am further notifying you in this section of my interest in specimens of Polyergus from around the world. I have discovered several species that are undescribed or need to be brought out of synonymy in North America, and also plan to study the variation in the Eurasian species. These include the black species of Asia (samurai, nigerrimus)and the widely distributed red rufescens. Other areas of great interest, due to lack or near lack of specimens, are montane Mexico, Taiwan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Appalachian USA, eastern Canada, the Himalayas, etc.

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Nicolas Tirard on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:01 pm

hello,

I will see if I can ask a friend who has a colony of P. rufescens in his garden in south of France.

And I can also suggest you an other country : Lybia. In fact, when I was very young (but already interested in ants), my grandmother traveled to this country. And she brought me back a specimen of Polyergus.

At this time, I knew almost nothing about the different species of ants but I recognized the genus. And I found the specimen was different from the rufescens I knew (bigger, with some part of the body blackish).

Of course, I lost the specimen... And I was young so it could be that I was wrong. But it could be interesting too ?

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Benoit Guenard on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:52 am

I never saw any reference of Polyergus in North Africa. The southern range that I know for the Paleartic area is Turkey. Although Lybia is not a country that was extensively prospected for ants, the surrounding area like Tunisia, Algeria or Egypt have received a certain amount of attention. I would doubt that Polyergus could be in Lybia.
Is anyone saw any reference for this genus is this part of the world?
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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Nicolas Tirard on Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:13 am

I never saw any reference of Polyergus in North Africa.
me neither. I can only say I saw a big orange and black ant with falcate mandibles from Lybia.

I know some species of Cataglyphis may have falcate mandibles, and I know I was young when I saw the ant. So it might be a Cataglyphis species. I don't affirm anything.

But remember that before Tinaut found Rossomyrmex minuchae in Spain, this Genus was supposed to be fully asiatic. And Spain fauna is best known that Lybian Smile

Sadly, the country is not very open...

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:47 pm

I, too, would suppose the Lybian specimen was a Cataglyphis. The only place in North Africa where Polyergus might occur is the Atlas Mts. of Morocco, but none has been found there yet.

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by abuschinger on Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:28 am

Hi James,

Here’s a list of the ants of Morocco, by Henri Cagniant, of 2006. No Polyergus were found there: http://www.oegef.at/MN8_193-200.pdf

I finally decided to join this forum. Let's hope that more professional myrmecologists will do so!

Btw., James, did you check the collection of Mary Talbot? - When travelling together with her and T. Alloway in 1977 she found a small Polyergus species in Québec, somewhere near Rouyn-Noranda. She believed that it was a new species, but apparently she has never published it.

Best wishes,
Alfred

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Benoit Guenard on Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:43 am

Welcome Dr. Buschinger.

I did not think about the Talbot collection to check on it. I work everyday at few meters from it because we are compiling the data in it in my lab.
I will take a look to the database (I will try to find time today to do it) and let you know what is in it. I hope the Polyergus are already compiled, otherwise I will take a look to the jars.
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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:59 am

Alfred:
I have, in fact seen much of the Talbot collection, when it was temporarily housed at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, but do not remember seeing the specimens you mention.
Benoit: Thanks for taking a look for those.

Best wishes to both, James

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:56 pm

Hello all:

This is a good time for those of you in southeastern and Gulf Coast US to keep their eyes open for a Polyergus that raids and lives with my recently described Formica biophilica, as well as ones that live with F. pallidefulva itself. The two Formica spp. look very much alike in color and shininess on the average, but the new one is a bit yellower, and has long, slightly curved pilosity on the mesosoma and gaster as opposed to the near lack of mesosomal pilosity and short, straight, gastral bristles of F. pallidefulva.

If anyone out there has specimens of Polyergus living with F. neogagates group hosts, I would really like to see these.

Finally, anyone going to the Olympics? How about bringing back some specimens of P. samurai subsp. mandarin from the Beijing area?

I would prefer specimens be killed and sent in 90-95% ethanol.

Thanks in advance. JT

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Benoit Guenard on Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:23 pm

I keep my eyes open but unfortunately I did not see any since I am in NC. I would like to find some for some pictures.
Is there is any habitat that they could prefer?

For China, I have received ants from Zheijang yesterday, but unfortunately I only have someCamponotus, Paratrechina, Pheidole and Pristomyrmex. My father, the collector (and not myrmecologist), only collect the most common ones. I have to teach him how to collect and to offer him an aspirator . Smile
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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:33 am

In NC, grasslands (relatively undisturbed old fields, especially sandy ones, and balds), and/or oak savannas and woodlands (especially fire-managed ones) are best for the hosts of these ants -- members of the Formica pallidefulva group. Healthy populations of these hosts sometimes support good populations of the parasites. The best time to encounter them is around 1800hr (earlier at high elevation), when they are out raiding. If you find some on a raid, please follow them back to their home nest to collect both Polyergus and host workers in the sample.

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Benoit Guenard on Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:07 pm

Concerning the Polyergus in Iran and Iraq, is this genus was already recorded there? or is it just a guess?

I asked that because I am doing the global repartition of the different genera of ants and I never saw any records for those two countries.
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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:05 pm

According to this http://www.myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/images/pdf/volume11/mn11_151-159_non-printable.pdf Polyergus has not been discovered in Iran. Formica cunicularia, a frequent host of P. rufescens is on record there, so the "Poly" may be encountered there with further searching.

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Benoit Guenard on Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:38 pm

Thank you for your answer.
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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by Joe Sapp on Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:04 pm

Hi James, I'm new to myrmecology but I'm in my third year of graduate school (at UC Santa Cruz) and am undertaking a Ph.D. project on the behavioral ecology of P. breviceps in the Sierras North of Lake Tahoe. It would be no problem to send you tons of specimens. Incidentally, I'm trying to understand host-specificity at this site and am finding it pretty challenging to ID the Formica to species. Do you know of anyone who would like to ID Fusca-group Formica? I've been meaning to contact you for awhile and wish I'd done so sooner so I could have sent you more samples. I'll look at what I managed to voucher last summer and send you what I can.

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Re: specimens for revision of Polyergus

Post by James C. Trager on Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:55 pm

Hello Joe:

I will be interested to see your Polyergus samples and associated Formica, which latter I can also ID, as host associations are a part of my study.

It may be of interest to you to know that the type series of Polyergus breviceps umbratus are from the Santa Cruz area (Brookdale). It would be great if you were able next season to acquire fresh material, with host workers, from the area. I suspect the ones you have are of the umbratus sort. Another taxon, P. b. laeviceps was described from Mt. Tamalpais, a bit north of you. A more distinctive population that uses F. moki as host also occurs in California, though this may be more southern one. Samples from any of these populations will be of interest.

We can exchange mailing info by private messages.

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