False Honeypot Ant
( Prenolepis imparis )


2014-1026-NR150000-HYM01300-Prenolepis_imparis[0810h36s,E,I,tree-oak-bark]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Prenolepis imparis
(Say ,1836 )
Common Name:False Honeypot Ant
Life Stage:(I) indeterminate/irrelevant

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Hymenoptera
Suborder:Apocrita
Family:Formicidae
Genus:Prenolepis
Taxon Code:HYM01300
ITIS/TSN:577971

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Hastings Natural History Reservation, Hastings Natural History Reservation, Santa Lucia Mountain Range, 38601 E Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA, Carmel Valley
County:Monterey County
ECI Site#:CANR150000
Open Space Location:Santa Lucia Mountain Range

RECOGNITION
Description
Mouthparts: Mandible triangular, with 5 or 6 teeth (rarely 7). Thorax: In dorsal view, mesonotum severely constricted giving the mesosoma a distinctive hourglass-like shape; dorsal surface of mesosoma smooth and very shiny.
Body Length
Queen: 8 mm. Worker: 2.5-3.5 mm. Male: 3-4 mm.

BIOLOGY
Food
Workers feed on honeydew, secretions of floral and extrafloral nectaries, sap flows, exudates from galls, earthworms and arthropods (usually as carrion), and ripened or decaying fruit.
Habitat
Usually nest in the soil with some clay content (but variety testacea lives in sand) in wooded situations or occasionally constructing a chamber under a rock or log. This ant is often associated with oak woodlands of various sorts (or scrub oak thickets in the west), but also (beech-)maple.
Importance
This ant can be a pest in Bay Area homes.
Range
Most of the United States, plus southern Ontario and Mexico.
Active Period
Year round. P. imparis is unusual in its ability to get around when temperatures are just a few degrees above freezing. Nests are often deep underground. Colonies may be inactive during the summer months, becoming more active when the weather cools. This is the earliest flying of our cool climate North American ants.
Importance
This ant can be a pest in Bay Area homes.
Development
Males and females are reared in late summer, overwintering underground. Young workers are "overfed" and swell with fat, from which a nutritious glandular secretion is produced that is the main food upon which the year's single brood of workers and alates is reared. After this corpulent stage, the storage workers lose weight and sclerotize to become the forager (temporal) caste.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Prenolepis imparis - False Honey Ant. (bugguide.net/node/view/27323). Accessed June 1, 2017. .
ITIS.


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