prairie mound ant

(prairie mound ant)

Conservation Status
prairie mound ant
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Prairie mound ant occurs in the United States in the upper Midwest and in the Great Plains states, and in southern Canada from Manitoba to Alberta.

Workers are hairy, uniformly dark brown, and ¼ to (6 to 9 mm) in length. Queens are 5 16 to ½ (8 to 12 mm) in length.

The head is broadly rounded in outline. The rear margin is rounded, not distinctly concave. The eyes are large. The facial plate above the mouth (clypeus) is not notched. The finger-like sensory mouth part (maxillary palp) is long and has six segments. The basal segment of each antennae (scape) is very long, longer than the length of the head. There are numerous erect hairs on the under (ventral) side of the head, a few hairs on the side of the head extending just to the front edge of the eye, erect hairs at the back of the head at the edge (occipital angle), and usually no erect hairs on the cheek. There are no erect hairs on eyes or on the scape.

The first body segment behind the head (mesosoma) has two distinct elevated areas (bumps). It is covered with three exoskeletal plates, the pronotum and mesonotum covering the thorax, and the propodeum covering the first segment of the abdomen that is fused to the thorax. The pronotum and and mesonotum form one smooth convex bump, the propodeum a second convex bump. The second abdominal segment (petiole) is narrow and waist-like, and has a single raised bump (node).

The remainder of the abdomen (gaster) is bulbous. The head, mesosoma, legs, and the gaster are covered with silvery appressed hairs. There are single rows of erect hairs at the end of each segment.

The legs are brown.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Worker: ¼ to (6 to 9 mm)

Queen: 5 16 to ½ (8 to 12 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Prairies and meadows

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Spring to autumn

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

A single mound may have many queens forming a supercolony.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 80, 82.

 
  11/17/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
 

Superfamily

Formicoidea (ants)  
 

Family

Formicidae (ants)  
 

Subfamily

Formicinae  
 

Tribe

Formicini  
 

Genus

Formica  
  No Rank Fusca Group  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

prairie mound ant

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Clypeus

On insects, a hardened plate on the face above the upper lip (labrum).

 

Gaster

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

 

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 the antenna.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  prairie mound ant   prairie mound ant
       
  prairie mound ant    
       
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Alfredo Colon
8/10/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

prairie mound ant


     
     
 
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Created: 11/17/2020

Last Updated:

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