Saturday, June 10, 2006

Reader comments and...(wait for it)....Solenopsis!

By the way, I am super excited to see that actual people not related to me are reading this blog. Thank you so much for the comments! I am finished with my Solenopsis but want to wait a week to put up my results so that I can have them verified by Stefan. No doubt there will be a few adjustments. But I know how frustrating it is to deal with Solenopsis, so I am hoping to also include a key I have been working on and some photos of the characteristics I used. Not sure how useful this will be, but it certainly can't hurt. I have been using a program called Lucid3 which is fantastic. It really helped me keep track of my morphospecies and figure out when I had accidentally made two groups of the same ant. I will put this program up on my website, too, as soon as I figure out how to do that. I ended up with 29 morphospecies, one of which was S. virulens and one of which was all the queens I didn't want to deal with. Characteristics I used (briefly -- I will put more detail later): color, opacity, mesosomal length, scape length, distance from scape to vertex, head shape, head width, size and shape of clypeal carinae and clypeal teeth, size and shape of first and second funicular segments, pilosity of mesosoma and head, mesosomal shape, severity of metanotal groove, propodeum shape, petiole shape, and punctation.

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