Southern field ant - Ant #91

Southern field ant - Ant #91

Observation - Southern field ant - Ant #91 - Southern Africa. Description: Dr AJ Prins of the SA Museum in Cape Town first collected this uncommon little ant in 1959 at Velddrif, and later also found it at Citrusdal. He described the genus in 1983, using the [not Latinised, TR] Greek for 'ant of the fields' - Agraulomyrmex - as

Dr AJ Prins of the SA Museum in Cape Town first collected this uncommon little ant in 1959 at Velddrif, and later also found it at Citrusdal. He described the genus in 1983, using the [not Latinised, TR] Greek for 'ant of the fields' - Agraulomyrmex - as the generic; this species he called 'meridionalis' for its southern distribution. There is one other recognized species in Zimbabwe, but since 1983 twelve more as yet undescribed species have been found, from Gauteng to Tanzania. Prins pointed out that the ants are closely related to the genus Acropyga, which he described in 1982 [see iSpot node www.ispotnature.org/node/624606 - Yellow forest sugar ant], but they are much smaller, much darker in colour, and have much bigger eyes. The petiole scale is also much smaller. We found these ants in the parking lot at the farm stall; it was a very hot day and impossible to photograph the very small, fast-moving ants. A first on iSpot, its the 91st Southern African ant on this platform.