Odontomachus clarus, full face view of a worker (click image to enlarge).
Odontomachus clarus, side view of a worker (click image to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/
Odontomachus clarus, top view of a worker (click image to enlarge).
Odontomachus clarus is typically considered to be a southwestern US species and was only recently discovered to occur in Louisiana (Adams et al. 2010). According to Deyrup and Cover (2004), this species nests under rocks or in grasses associated with arid and mesic habitats.
Taxonomic History (from Bolton, 2012)
Workers: Bicolored with head, alitrunk, and petiole reddish brown, gaster brownish-black, and legs yellowish brown. Length approximately 9 mm. Pronotum with transverse striae posteriorly. Petiole slightly rugose basally on sides, smooth on back. Inner side of hind femur glabrous at base. Basalar lobe smooth. Fine appressed pubescence on first gastral tergite distributed at least ½ their own length; Other US species differ in the density of gastral pubescence, smoothness of the posterior side of the petiole, and smoothness of the basalar lobe in workers.
Males: Ocelli smaller than the space between lateral ocelli and eye, not raised on turrets; pronotum with fine striations; and head and body dark brown. (Deyrup et al. 1985, Deyrup and Cover 2004).
This species is similar to O. relictus, which has basalar lobes striate in workers and large raised ocelli in males.
Biology and Economic Importance
According to Mark Deyrup (pers. com.), this may actually be a species complex with at least two species involved.
According to AntWeb data this species has been collected in agricultural areas, xerophyl scrub, juniper scrub, oak-pine-juniper woodland, juniper woodland, oak-pine forest, Ocotillo-acacia desert, rocky slope, riparian woodland, and riparian woodland/desert scrub habitats.
Bolton, B. 2012. Bolton World Catalog Ants. accessed on October 2012. [Available online: http://www.antweb.org/world.jsp]
Deyrup, M. and S. Cover. 2004. A new species of Odontomachus ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from inland ridges of Florida, with a key to Odontomachus of the United States. Florida Entomologist 87: 136-144.
Deyrup, M., J. Trager, and N. s 1985. The genus Odontomachus in the southeastern United States (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomological News 96: 188-195.
Emery, C. 1911e. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118:1-125.
Taylor, R. W. and Wilson, E. O. 1962 ("1961"). Ants from three remote oceanic islands. Psyche (Cambridge) 68:137-144.