Strongylognathus testaceus,

Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 80-82

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Strongylognathus testaceus


27. Strongylognathus testaceus  HNS  (Schenck, 1852)

Figs. 108,109.

Eciton testaceum Schenck  HNS  , 1852:117.

Worker. Yellowish brown. Head rectangular with pronounced occipital emargination and posterolateral angles. Body shining with long fine pale hairs present also on appendages. Sculpture variable, with longitudinal striae present or more or less effaced on head and alitrunk. Length: 2.0-3.6 mm.

Queen. Darker than worker, brownish with paler appendages. Wings pale with 1 cubital cell, 1 discoidal and an open radial cell. Length: 3.5-3.8 mm.

Male. Dark brown with pale brown appendages. Head small narrower than promesonotum. Occiput emarginate sharply angled postero-laterally. Antennal scape shorter than second funiculus segment. Length: 3.2-4 mm.

Distribution. Very rare in S. Sweden, only recorded from Sm. and 01. - Recorded in England from Devon, Dorset and Hants very locally. - Range: Pyrenees to Ukraine, North Italy to Sweden.

Biology. This species occurs only in the nests of its host Tetramorium caespitum  HNS  . Workers and brood of both host and parasite are present but only the sexuals of Strongylognathus  HNS  are developed, the original Tetramorium  HNS  queen as well as the adoptive Strongylognathus  HNS  queen usually being found present together.

S. testaceus  HNS  workers are normally greatly outnumbered by Tetramorium  HNS  workers. Observations on this and related species suggest that neighbouring nests of the host species are raided to recruit more Tetramorium  HNS  pupae to the colony which is often very populous with up to 20,000 individuals. Alatae are present in July and August