Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Stigmatomma

Dracula Ant - Stigmatomma pallipes ant - Stigmatomma pallipes - female Ant - Stigmatomma pallipes Unknown Wingless Wasp? (Or Ant?) - Stigmatomma pallipes Stigmatomma pallipes - male Stigmatomma pallipes - male Hymenopteran - Stigmatomma - male Stigmatomma pallipes - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Formicoidea (Ants)
Family Formicidae (Ants)
Subfamily Amblyoponinae (Dracula Ants)
Genus Stigmatomma
Other Common Names
Dracula Ants, in reference to adults gaining nourishment by biting at designated spots on the cuticle of last instar larvae to obtain haemolymph.
Pronunciation
Most English-speaking myrmecologists say AM-bleeopone. Those wishing to be understood by non-English speakers may say am-bleh-OH-poh-neh.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
NA spp. used to be treated for some time in Amblyopone
Numbers
4 spp. in our area
Size
4-5 mm (queens 4.5-5.5 mm)
Identification
Straight or gently curved clypeal margin is armed with a "saw edge" of (sometimes minutely bidenticulate) teeth, actually dentifom setae.
Mandibles elongate with bidenticulate teeth.
Petiole broadly attached posteriorly to remainder of gaster.
Range
across NA south of the Subarctic
Habitat
Moist soil
Season
Most often found in spring and fall, when near-surface temperatures are close to their thermal preferendum
Food
Apparently, the preferred food is geophilimorph centipedes, which they effectively subdue, not withstanding the gluey defensive secrietions of these much larger and squirmy arthropods (Trager, pers. observation). But, other elongate, "wiggly" prey such as other centipedes and elaterid larvae, are also taken. Prey is grasped with the ants' toothy mouthparts, underground in narrow burrows, and then stung with the formidable aculeus, which is nearly as long as the entire gaster when exserted.
Life Cycle
Mating flights occur during the cool months, September to April throughout their broad range, but obviousl, not in winter in cooler regions.
Remarks
This genus and some Prionoplta are part of an ancient lineage of ants, long included in Ponerinae, but now separated into their own subfamily.