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Crematogaster cerasi Emery

Crematogaster cerasi, frontal view of the head of a worker (click image to enlarge).
Crematogaster cerasi, side view of a worker (click image to enlarge).

Ants in the genus Crematogaster are often referred to as acrobat ants because of their propensity to arc the gaster upward and over the alitrunk in a manner that resembles a contortionist or acrobat. They are small, monomorphic ants. Workers have an 11-segmented antenna, the presence of variably long propodeal spines, a flattened petiole, and a somewhat heart-shaped gaster. The postpetiole is attached to the dorsal surface of the gaster, and this characteristic will differentiate this genus from other genera in our area.

Crematogaster cerasi is a small brown to bicolored species. The thoracic dorsum has longitudinal, short striations or ridges, with granulation or punctation in between. Only 1-3 erect hairs are present on the pronotum and they are confined to the humeral area. Pronotal pleurae are sculptured, roughened looking and opaque. Propodeal spines are long and diverge posteriorly.

This species is reported to nest under rocks and in logs and stumps (Smith, D.R. 1979). It is known to occur in a variety of habitats including mesic hardwood forests, xeric habitats, and agricultural fields (Johnson, 1988).


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