Solenopsis geminata, Fabr

Forel, A., 1893, Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent. Récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith., Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1893, pp. 333-418: 396-398

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Solenopsis geminata, Fabr


6. Solenopsis geminata, Fabr  HNS  .

(No. 48 a a 48 m). [[ worker ]] [[ queen ]] [[ male ]]. Espece cosmopolite des tropiques.

(48). Common, especially in open places below 1500 ft. The communities are large, often ten or twelve thousand individuals, I should think. The formicary proper is commonly excavated under sod or loose soil, advantage being often taken of the shelter afforded by a large stone, or by vines, a bush, & c; it is never far below the surface. In the centre is a large irregular chamber, or several small ones connected by very short passages; this central portion may occupy a space six inches square. From it a network of tunnels extends in all directions, but always near the surface; connected with these there may be other small chambers for larvae, food, & c. The longer tunnels may extend for many yards, commonly ending under stones, where other chambers are constructed; and to these distant parts of the formicarium the larvae are often carried. No matter how large the community is, there appears to be but one gravid female, though several winged females may be found. These ants are very pugnacious, especially when their central nest is disturbed. The sting is unpleasant, but not very painful. The largest-headed workers are. few in number, and keep to the inner passages of the formicarium. The other workers are frequently found about houses, on foliage, flowers, & c, and prowling over the ground in open places. They seem to live principally, if not entirely, on vegetable matter; they are especially fond of sweet substances. I have found considerable quantities of grass-seeds stored in small chambers in their nests. In their movements the smallheaded workers are moderately active; the large-headed ones move slowly, and in a staggering way. The females are sluggish.

(48 a). Near Wallibou (leeward); seashore thickets; sandy soil. Oct, 8 th. The main nest was under a large stone.

(48 b). Fitz-Hugh Valley (leeward), 500 ft.; open place near stream. A large nest under sod and vines on a rock.

(48 d). Fitz-Hugh Valley (leeward), 500 ft. Nov. 4 th. Open place. A female found alone in a small cavity of rotten wood.

(48 e). Golden Grove (leeward), 300 ft. June. Workers found about the house.

(48 f).. Workers from various localities on the leeward side and southern end of the island, below 1500 ft.; open places. Some found at the ends of their tunnels, under stones; others on foliage, on the flowers of Croton, & c.

(48 g). Southern end of the island; Villa Estate, near the seashore; dry hill-side; at the end of a tunnel under a stone. Oct. 14 th.

(48 h). Near Palmyra Estate (leeward), 1000 ft. Nov. 4 th. Open hill-side. A formicary or end of a tunnel, partly under a stone. The ants had formed a small mound at the side of the stone, with the earth brought up. I could find no female; and probably this was not the main nest, though the ants and larvae were numerous.

(48 i). Wallilobo (leeward), near sea-level; open valley. Nov. 8 th. From extensive passages under sod and stones.

(48 j). Camden Park Estate (leeward, near Kingstown), Nov. 19 th; seashore, at the root of a tree. A large colony. The ants had passages on the tree-trunk, following the lines of crevices, and formed roughly of bits of wood-fibre.

The tunnels of these ants are made very near the surface of the ground, and are generally partly open, either because the surface has fallen in, or because the passage is not necessarily a covered one; hence these passages can easily be traced.

(48 k). Nov. 23 rd. Golden Grove (leeward), 300 ft. Many thousands appeared in the upper room of the house, near sunset, in a corner near a window. They had at least a hundred males, which they let loose near the window. It was curious to see the workers drag the males to the window, which, however, was closed - a failure of instinct. Very few workers major appeared.

I killed thousands of the ants with carbolic acid. Notwithstanding this, and the fact that the window was an effectual barrier to swarming, the ants appeared again in a few days after, in the same place, with other males.

(481). Hermitage Estate, Cumberland Valley, 1000 ft.; open place. Dec. 2 nd. At roots of plants on a rock. A large nest.

(48 m). Windward coast of Robocca. Jan. 2 nd. Dooryard, under stones. (The species is common on the windward side).

N. B. - Mons. H. H. Smith a encore rapporte plusieurs [[ queen ]] et [[ male ]] appartenant au genre Solenopsis  HNS  , mais indeter- minables, parce que les [[ worker ]] correspondantes manquent.

II se peut qu'ils appartiennent a des [[ worker ]] deja decrites, et c'est un devoir de ne pas encombrer la synonymie de ce genre deja si difficile. Ces individus sont les numeros (10 h) [[ queen ]], (11 a) [[ queen ]] et [[ male ]], quatre especes de [[ male ]] pris au vol et sans numeros, enfin le No. 10 a. La [[ queen ]] et l'ouvriere du No. 10 a appartiennent a deux especes differentes, mais l'ouvriere unique, fort rapprochee de la S. Castor n'est pas assez caracteristique, ni assez bien conservee pour qu'il soit permis de la decrire.

(11). Perhaps referable to No. 9.

(11 a). Open place near sea-level; Cumberland Valley (leeward). Oct. 8 th. Flying. Copulated (about 8 a. m.).