ID guide | introduced ants

Strumigenys membranifera

General description: 

Strumigenys membranifera is a minute, relatively uncommon species. The distinct appearance of P. membranifera is characterized by a triangular head, six-segmented antennae with a two-segmented antennal club, antennal scrobes, triangular mandibles, spongiform appendages on the propodeum and waist, and spatulate hairs on the antennal scapes. Like all myrmicines, S. membranifera also has a two-segmented waist and a gaster armed with a sting.

Wilson and Taylor (1967) offer the following discussion of S. membranifera.

Brown (1949) states that T. membranifera [the species was referred to as Trichoscapa membranifera prior to the taxonomic revision of Bolton (2000)] is probably of African origin. It has been spread by human commerce through a large part of the tropics and warm temperate zones, including such diverse areas as the Fiji Is., eastern China, West Indies and southeastern United States. The species has an ecological amplitude unusual for a dacetine, nesting in major habitats from dense woodland to dry, open cultivated fields. Wilson (1953) describes the feeding behavior of the workers; they are predaceous on a wide variety of small, soft-bodied arthropods.

Diagnostic description: 

Diagnosis of worker among Antkey species. Head shape triangular. Antenna 6-sgemented. Antennal club 2-segmented. Antennal scapes not conspicuously short; easily extended beyond eye level. Antennal insertions at least partly covered by frontal lobes. Eyes medium to large (greater than 5 facets); situated on lower margin of scrobe. Frontal lobes do not obscure face outline between mandible and eye. Posterolateral corners of head unarmed, without spines. Mandibles linear; armed with small denticles and no apical fork. Pronotal spines absent. Propodeum armed with spines or teeth. Waist 2-segmented. Petiole and postpetiole with distinct spongiform. Appressed circular hairs do not cover face, mesosoma and waist segments.

Strumigenys membranifera can be separated from other introduced and commonly intercepted Strumigenys species by the following combination of characters: (1) mandibles triangular; (2) mandibles with denticles, lacking apical fork; and (3) appressed circular hairs do not cover face, mesosoma and waist segments.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith