Explanation of Names
Platythyrea punctata (Smith, 1858)
"The one Nearctic species is easily recognized. The two pectinate spurs on the hind leg immediately separate it from all other Nearctic ponerine genera."(Hedlund
"Platythyrea is characterized by the following apomorphy (Bolton 2003):
Sculpture pruinose throughout"(TOL
in US, mostly FL peninsula, also s. TX to Panama, Brazil / W. Indies - Map (1)(2)
"This species nests in small colonies of up to two hundred individuals, usually in rotten logs and stumps or under the bark of trees in shady situations."(Hedlund
The specimen in the image submitted by Jeff Hollenbeck was collected under pine bark in a shady area.
"Some species are specialized predators on termites, others specialize in adult beetles, and others may be general predators. They can inflict a severe sting."(Hedlund
"Workers are active, forage singly, and are carnivorous and predatory (Smith, D.R. 1979: 1336). Many colonies in FL have no queens and reproduce by the egg laying of a single, uninseminated worker (Schilder, Heinze & Hölldobler, 1999. Insectes Soc. 46: 150-158)."(Hedlund
"In other populations, males have been found and inseminated workers ('gamergates') reproduce sexually. In addition, in other populations queens have been found very rarely.
In contrast to 'normal' Hymenoptera where females are diploid and emerge from fertilised eggs while males are haploid and emerge from unfertilised eggs (arrhenotokous parthenogenesis), here diploid females can emerge from unfertilised eggs."(Kellner
Probably introduced, from Central and South America
O’Keefe, S.T., J.L. Cook, T. Dudek, D.F. Wunneburger, M.D. Guzman, R.N. Coulson, and S.B. Vinson. 2000. The distribution of ants in Texas. Southwestern Entomologist, Supplemental Issue No. 22. 92 pp. (2)