A NEW SPECIES OF THE ANT GENUS LEPTOTHORAX FROM FLORIDA, WITH A KEY TO THE LEPTOTHORAX OF THE SOUTHEAST (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE)

Mark Deyrup, Stefan Cover

Abstract


A new species of myrmicine ant is described from Florida: Leptothorax palustris is known from workers and associated queens and males collected in a marsh and in frequently flooded pinelands in the Apalachicola National Forest in northwestern Florida. Nests are near the surface in root mats that extend into small open sandy hummocks. The species resembles Leptothorax texanus Wheeler, a species of adjacent well-drained sandy sites, differing primarily in the structure of the petiole and postpetiole and color. Leptothorax davisi Wheeler is synonymized with Leptothorax texanus Wheeler (new synonymy); this is based on extensive and previously unknown variability in L. texanus, even in single sites and within nest series. An illustrated key is presented for the identification of the eleven species of Leptothoraxknown from the Atlantic Coastal states north through North Carolina, with the addition of Alabama.

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