Thursday, November 09, 2006

Identifying male ants II

So I got an email from Christiana Klingenberg yesterday pointing me to another key to male ants:

Yoshimura, M. & Onoyama, K. 2002. Male-based keys to the subfamilies and genera of japanese ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomological Science, 5 (4): 421-443.

I don't have access to this article but have ordered it from my school library and will let you all know if it is useful or not.

She also mentions that:
"A few years ago Bodo Hasso Dietz and I had the same problem with males of Basicerotini and Attini. Checking out male and female wings we saw that both are very similar. So maybe comparing the wings of males with "identified winged females" could help. But this works only up the genus level, not for species."

Thanks for the tips! Anyone else?

1 comment:

  1. A few notes:

    In the dolichoderines and formicines, males often have wing venation somewhat reduced when compared to females, so matching up wing venation is not liable to help.

    In Linepithema (the group I work on), the males of one species group are odd, elongate, and have the same venation as females. You might have one or a few Linepithema species at Tiputini, one with large elongate males and two with small chunky males, and even though the workers are very similar you'd be surprised that the males are even in the same genus.

    What I'd do if I were in your location is take some time in the MCZ collection to view males in the genera and species for which you have collected workers. There isn't any good key to males, but at least you can start to pick up the gestalt for males in the different groups.

    Good luck.