5581829134 e295920206 5581242075 4f495c6683 s 5581241953 0ca1bfb9fb s 5581829254 cae5fc7ee4 s
Photo © Ken-ichi Ueda, some rights reserved
Mount Diablo State Park, Contra Costa County, CA, USA (Google, OSM)
37.879653, -121.914119
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Description

These cute little ants were... doing something. Their males were taking off, so maybe they were throwing a party.

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Comments & Identifications

1 thumb
Ants - Photo (c) Farhan Bokhari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)
kueda's ID: Ants (Family Formicidae)
Posted by kueda almost 4 years ago (Flag)
11166 thumb
Small Honey Ant - Photo (c) Ian Marsman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)
m_prebus's ID: Small Honey Ant (Prenolepis imparis)
Posted by m_prebus over 2 years ago (Flag)
1 thumb

Welcome to iNat! Are there some features you're seeing in these photos that lead you to this ID?

Posted by kueda over 2 years ago (Flag)
477 thumb

Now that I look at this, I agree this is Prenolepis imparis too (one of the few ants I know). These are the small black ants that look kind of like the invasive argentine ant but their abdomens are bigger (and are native). They're often found walking around solitarily in the winter, and like argentine ants, they tend aphids.

Posted by loarie over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Yes, they are super common and conspicuous in this part of the country, one of the few ant species that are active during the winter. Their mesosoma has a pretty distinctive profile: a bulbous pronotum followed by depressed mesonotum/propodeum, with a lateral promesonotal constriction. Their eyes are relatively large and set far back on their almost spherical head, and the gaster is big and fairly pointy posteriorly. If you were to look at their petiole under a microscope you would notice it has a distinctive wedge shape, too.

Posted by m_prebus over 2 years ago (Flag)
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I just noticed that in some of the original pictures, you can see a tiny fringe of hairs at the tip of the gaster: the acidopore. This is a feature of the subfamily Formicinae, which automatically tells you that this isn't an Argentine ant, which belongs to the Dolichoderinae.

Posted by m_prebus over 2 years ago (Flag)
1 thumb
Small Honey Ant - Photo (c) Ian Marsman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)
kueda's ID: Small Honey Ant (Prenolepis imparis)

Great, thanks for the info, you guys.

Posted by kueda over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Identification Summary

Small Honey Ant - Photo (c) Ian Marsman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)
kueda's ID: Small Honey Ant (Prenolepis imparis)
Small Honey Ant - Photo (c) Ian Marsman, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)
m_prebus's ID: Small Honey Ant (Prenolepis imparis)
kueda has chosen to retain control over the taxa associated with their observations
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Data Quality Assessment

Community-supported ID? Yes
1 person agrees
0 people disagree
Date? Yes
Georeferenced? Yes
Photos or sounds? Yes
Is the organism wild/naturalized? Unknown
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Does the location seem accurate? Unknown
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Does the date seem accurate? Unknown
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Appropriate? Yes
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Observation © Ken-ichi Ueda
Cc by small some rights reserved

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