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Crematogaster minutissima Mayr

Crematogaster minutissima, frontal view of the head of a worker.
Crematogaster minutissima, side view of a worker.

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 minutissima is a minute yellow species. It can be distinguished from the only other similar species in our area, C. missuriensis, by the propodeal spines being directed more backward than upward and having a length of less than one-half the distance which separate their bases and two prominent rugae near the middle of the pronotum. Additionally, C. minutissima is usually lighter yellow in color and smaller.

This species is usually found nesting in rotting logs in woods, or occasionally in the soil under leaf litter in mixed forests.


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