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 SUBFAMILY CERAPACHYINAE


 
Cerapachys sp.
Figures 26?29

DESERT RECORDS. Map 3.

Imperial Co.: 2 __, 3 mi NW Glamis,15-16 Sept. 1972 (M. Wasbauer & A. Hardy; CDFA), ex black light trap.
Riverside Co.: Red Cloud Cyn., Chuckwalla Mts., ---------------- (RRS & GCSC; LACM). San Bernardino Co.: 1 _, Yucca Valley, 26 Sept. 1944 (P. H. Timberlake; LACM), on Eriogonum inflatum; 1 _, 10 mi E Twentynine Palms, 11 June 1966 (LACM), at fluorescent black light; 1 _, Needles, 30 June 1968 (J. C. Lambert; LACM), at black
light.

     DISCUSSION. No cerapachyine ants have been previously recorded from California. These males are apparently conspecific with males from Sabino Cyn., Santa Catalina Mts., Arizona, tentatively identified as C. davisi M. Smith. However, as noted by Brown (1975), the few samples from North America are so limited and confusing that any attempt to sort out the species is hopeless at this time. More material must be procured and the males must be associated with workers.
     Workers that may be conspecific with the above males are available, though not from a desert locality. These were collected in the Cleveland National Forest, about 3 mi N Warner Springs, San Diego Co. 19 May 1974, by Rudi Berkelhamer (LACM). They were taken from a column of Neivamyrmex californicus in chaparral habitat.
     Cerapachys colonies are small (in Arizona and Texas, a few dozen individuals or less). Even in tropical areas, most Cerapachys nests probably contain fewer than 200 workers (Brown, 1975).
     In tropical regions these ants nest in the ground or in rotten wood. Sometimes the nest is constructed under a rock. Nest entrances are inconspicuous, rarely with a crater. A short passage from the entrance leads into several chambers 10-50 cm beneath the surface. It is not known whether cerapachyines are nomadic or not. Brown (1975) opined that the nests "...look impermanent, and the broods show a strong tendency to be synchronized, like those of army ants and nomadic Ponerinae (Onychomyrmex, Simopelta)."
      Some tropical Cerapachys species are known to be carnivorous and predaceous, often raiding other ant colonies (such as those of Pheidole) to take brood and dead adults.


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Date of this version 18, October 2003
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