Polyergus lucidus

Trager, James C., 2013, Global revision of the dulotic ant genus Polyergus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Formicinae, Formicini), Zootaxa 3722 (4), pp. 501-548: 524-525

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Polyergus lucidus


Polyergus lucidus 

Figures 27, 28, 29View FIGURES 27 – 29

Polyergus rufescens lucidus Mayr 1870: 952  . Syntype worker, gyne, male: USA, CONNECTICUT (near Farmington?) [presumably at NMW] (not examined, but apparent syntypes at PMNH well described by Smith, 1947: 152). Forel, 1886: 200; Emery, 1893: 666; Wheeler, 1903: 659 (gynandromorph).

Polyergus lucidus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 214  ; Wheeler, 1917 b: 465; Smith, 1947: 152; Creighton 1950: 557; Wheeler & Wheeler, 1968: 214 (larva).

Types not measured.

Measurements (N= 38) HL 1.40–1.76 (1.59), HW 1.38–1.76 (1.53), SL 1.19–1.36 (1.27), ½ VeM 5–12 (7.25), ½ PnM 0–6 (2.67), WL 2.32–2.86 (2.49), GL 2.00– 2.68 (2.32), HFL 1.72–2.04 (1.89), CI 93–100 (96), SI 75–91 (84), HFI 114–131 (123), FSI 140–158 (148), LI 3.72–4.62 (4.08), TL 5.72–7.12 (6.40).

Worker description. Head subrectangular to narrowly subtrapezoidal, HL greater than HW, and often widest about half way from eye to vertex (narrowing closer to eye in other lucidus  group species); with conspicuous vertex pilosity of 10–16 macrosetae (rarely up to 24); scapes not reaching vertex corners by 1– 2 X maximum widths of scape, scape notably clavate in the apical third; pronotum with 1–8 (12) erect setae; mesonotal profile weakly convex; propodeal profile evenly rounded; petiole with convex sides; petiolar dorsum convex; first tergite lacking pubescence; first tergite pilosity sparse, straight, shorter than the distance separating the setae.

Head somewhat to very shiny; mesonotum shiny; gaster shiny.

Color red, often with infuscation of portions of legs and gastral tip.

Discussion. Polyergus lucidus  is most likely to be confused with the broadly sympatric montivagus  , from which it can be distinguished by shorter scapes, greater abundance of vertex and pronotal pilosity, and conspicuously greater shininess. Though I have not seen types, I follow Smith (1947) in the characterization of this species. Smith redescribed the species based on a worker at PMNH, with the same data and collector (Norton) as those described by Mayr.

Etymology. Latin “ lucidus  ” means shining, an appropriate name for Mayr’s species, the shiniest of all Polyergus  .

Natural history. Polyergus lucidus  is widely distributed from southern New England to Wisconsin, south to the mountain meadows and balds of the Carolinas and the tallgrass prairies of Missouri, matching most of the distribution of its unique host, F. incerta  (but not seen from Nebraska and Kansas).

This species has been studied on Long Island, NY by Topoff and his students. Kwait and Topoff (1983, 1984) published on its raid organization and emigrations, reporting behavioral patterns familiar throughout the genus. At the same study site, Goodloe and Sanwald (1985) later studied host specificity in what I here report to be lucidus  and sanwaldi  with their distinct hosts, F. incerta  and F. d o l o s a (reported as nitidiventris and schaufussi  ), respectively. These authors made the important finding that gynes arising from colonies with one of these hosts were not successfully adopted by the other host species, an early hint to me of their heterospecificity.

Distribution of studied specimens. INDIANA Tippecanoe Co. West Lafayette. 20 -VIII- 2008 nest in lawn C. Wang; MASSACHUSETTS Plymouth Co. Miles Standish S.F. Mass. Cover 65 / 2000 (MCZ); MICHIGAN Livingston Co. Edwin S. George Reserve. R. Savolainen 332 / 95 & 374 95 (JCTC); MISSOURI Franklin Co. Shaw Nature Reserve 18 -Sept- 2003 JCT (plus numerous other collections through 2011, JCTC); NEW YORK Putnam Co. Putnam Valley, 27 -V- 941, migrating from nest to body of dead phoebe (!). Col. R. O. Shuster; NEW YORK Suffolk Co. near Medford. mowed field. R. Sanwald 1997 (plus several other collections by R. Sanwald and JC Trager, JCTC); NEW YORK Warren Co. Lake George 22 -VIII- 1939 # 77 Col. A. E. Emerson. (FMNH); NEW YORK Warren Co. Lake George. 28 -VI- 1945 Col. T. E. Snyder (FMNH); NORTH CAROLINA Watauga Co. Blue Ridge Parkway (no further info, NCSU); OHIO Jackson Co. Scratch Hollow. L. G. Wesson (JCTC); PENNSYLVANIA Chester Co. Malvern. nest in grass 7 -Aug- 2011 A. Nguyen (JCTC); WISCONSIN Sauk Co. Spring Green Pres. SNA 43 o 11 ’ 58 ”N / 90 o03’ 32 ”W. 8 -Aug- 2005 Jeffrey P. Gruber (WIRC); WISCONSIN Shawano Co. Navarino Wildlife Area 44 o 39 ’ 11 ”N / 88 o 34 ’ 49 ”W 19 -Aug- 2001 Jeffrey P. Gruber (WIRC) Sep- 2003; WISCONSIN Washburn, Bass Lake T 40 N R 13 W s 32 1050 ft. MB DuBois (JCTC); CANADA ONTARIO Pinery Prov. Park 1 Sept. 1994 # 108 Umphrey 94-108. (JCTC).