Ant Twin Oaks Valley (2)

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The Main Ant Pages On Wayne's Word: Images Taken With Nikon & Sony Cameras
  Ant Genera Index        Introduction        Ant Page 1        Ant Page 2        Ant Page 3        Nikon        Sony  
  Owens Peak  
  Merriam Mtns  
  Palomar Mtn  
  Daley Ranch  
Ants Of Twin Oaks Valley (Part 2)
    Ants Of Twin Oaks Valley Part 1  
  World's Fastest Land Animal (A Mite) In Twin Oaks Valley   
© W.P. Armstrong 10 November 2019
A Total of 21 Ant Species in Twin Oaks Valley

#21 Myrmicinae: Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)

  Macrophotography Techniques By W.P. Armstrong  

I originally thought species #21 on the dead preying mantis was Cardiocondyla mauritanica until I brought it home and carefully examined it under the dissecting microscope. In fact, I brought the entire dead mantis home because it was covered by numerous ants, including a few red & black fire ants (Solenopsis xyloni). The most obvious difference was no propodeal spines that are clearly present on Cardiocondyla. In addition, the postpetiole is not enlarged as in Cardiocondyla and there were erect hairs on the dorsum of head & thorax.

A lovely children's book was
written about this interesting,
minute North American ant!

  Monomorium minimum At Oak Hill Park, Escondido  

More Images Of Little Fungus-Farming Ant (Cyphomyrmex wheeleri):
Collected on bridle path In Twin Oaks Valley, San Marcos, CA

  Cyphomyrmex Images On Ants Of Twin Oaks Valley Part 1  

Unusual Seeds in Pitfall Trap With Little Fungus-Farming Ant

Another pitfall trap collection on bridle path in front of my home with the amazing fungus-farming ant (Cyphomyrmex wheeleri). This is truly one of the most interesting ants I have found in Twin Oaks Valley. I still have not found its actual nest. With the help of Steve Disparti I finally identified the minute seeds with reticulate seed coat resembling a honecomb (1 June 2024). See Following 2 images.

Large Carpenter Ant Queen From Nearby Condo In San Marcos
That Currently Resides In A Dead Branch At Wayne's Word

I am uncertain about the species. It may be Camponotus dumetorum that occurs on nearby Owens Peak, although the reddish legs look a little like C. modoc from central and northern CA. I am hoping she will lay eggs and start a colony in the dead branch inside terrarium.

Possible Acrobat Ant Queen Caught In Pitfall Trap In
Bridle Path In Front Of My Home In Twin Oaks Valley

If this is an acrobat ant queen (Crematogaster), it raises the total number of ant species within 20 feet of my mailbox from 15 to 16; and the total number of ant species in Twin Oaks Valley from 21 to 22. My best guess for its identification is the widespread native species C. emeryana which is very similar to C. cerasi. Acrobat ants definitely occur on nearby Owens Peak, San Marocos & Daley Ranch in Escondido.

Owens Peak Acrobat Ant
  Daley Ranch Acrobat Ant

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