Taschenberg’s long-necked ant

(Dolichoderus taschenbergi)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Taschenberg’s long-necked ant

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widely distributed but uncommon

Flight/Season

 

Habitat

 

Size

Total Length: 116 to 3 16 (1.75 to 5 mm)

         
          Photo by Luciearl
 
Identification

Taschenberg’s long-necked ant is a small odorous ant. It occurs in the United States from Maine to North Dakota, south to Georgia and Louisiana, and in Canada from Nova Scotia to Manitoba. It is uncommon throughout its range but is most abundant in the north. It is found in open areas including old fields, woodland edges, and bogs. It forms huge colonies, often with multiple queens and more than 10,000 workers. It constructs igloo-shaped dome nests, 2 to 8 in height, using grasses, sphagnum mosses, spruce and pine needles, and other shredded vegetation. It the spring it can sometimes be found massed aboveground warming in the sun.

The type species of the genus is Dolichoderus attelaboides and is found in the Amazon. The rear portion of the head narrows, giving the appearance of a long neck. North American species do not have this feature.

The worker Taschenberg’s long-necked ant is 116 to 3 16 (1.75 to 5 mm) long and uniformly colored. The overall color is sometimes interpreted as “dark brownish-black”, sometimes as “all black”, sometimes as “jet black”.

The head is dark brownish-black and dull, not reflective. It is sparsely covered with short hairs and usually has a few erect hairs. There are two large compound eyes on the sides of the head and three simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle on the top of the head. The antennae are light brown, have 12 segments, and are not clubbed at the end. The basal segment (scape) is very long. It is covered with short appressed hairs but has no long erect hairs. The remaining segments, collectively called the funiculus, joins the scape at a sharp angle, giving the antennae a sharply elbowed look. The jaws (mandibles) are light brown.

The front part of the body (mesosoma) is covered with three exoskeletal plates, each forming a distinct bump. The first plate (pronotum) and second plate (mesonotum) cover the thorax. Together they are referred to as the promesonotum. They are covered with sparse short hairs but have no long erect hairs. They are dull, not reflective. The third plate (propodeum) covers the first segment of the abdomen which is fused to the thorax. When viewed from above, the propodeum is squarish, about as long as wide. When viewed from the side, the propodeum is distinctly concave and has the appearance of a bottle opener. This is an easily seen distinguishing feature of the genus. There is sometimes a single erect hair, rarely 2 or 3 hairs, at the back of the propodeum. The petiole is dark brownish-black and has a single raised bump (node).

The rear part of the body (gaster) is bulbous and very dark brown, sometimes interpreted as black. It is highly reflective and usually completely, hairless but occasionally has 1 or 2 erect hairs on the first segment. At the end of the gaster there is a horizontal slit.

The legs are dark brownish-black.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

Mostly honeydew of aphids, scale insects, and tree hoppers, but they also prey on various insects.

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

Workers are aggressive and will bite if their mound is disturbed.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30, 80, 82, 83.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)

 

Suborder:

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)

 

No Rank:

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)

 

Superfamily:

Formicoidea (ants)

 

Family:

Formicidae (Ants)

 

Subfamily:

Dolichoderinae (odorous ants)

 

Genus:

Dolichoderus

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

Taschenberg’s long-necked ant

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Gaster

The bulbous part of the abdomen of ants, bees, and wasps. In ants it usually begins at segment three.

 

Mesosoma

In Hymenoptera: the front part of the body, consisting of all three segments of the thorax and the first segment of the abdomen, to which the wings are attached.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Scape

On plants: An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster. On insects: The basal segment of an insect’s antenna.

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
Share your photo of this insect.
 

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
Luciearl
       

It literally looked like a black beaded purse laying in the forest. I've seen ant hills before, but nothing ever like this. It was so dense I wasn't sure what it was at first, but then could see a couple of single ants slightly away from the dense mass.

  Taschenberg’s long-necked ant   Taschenberg’s long-necked ant
       
  Taschenberg’s long-necked ant   Taschenberg’s long-necked ant
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
Share your video of this insect.
   

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

       
       
       
Other Videos
 
  Grace shows Dolichoderus taschenbergi 2017 04 26
Albany Pine Bush Preserve
 
   
 
About

Apr 27, 2017

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this insect.
This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Luciearl
4/10/2020

Location: Fairview Twp, Cass County

It literally looked like a black beaded purse laying in the forest. I've seen ant hills before, but nothing ever like this. It was so dense I wasn't sure what it was at first, but then could see a couple of single ants slightly away from the dense mass.

Taschenberg’s long-necked ant


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

         

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 5/17/2020

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.