Ant and Related Entomology Terms

(terms restricted to the study of social insects; such as, ants and words that apply generally to entomology)

An immature stage which is radically different in form from the adult; characteristic of the holometabolous insects, including the Hymeoptera.

In the termites, the term is used in a special sense to designate an immature individual without any external trace of wing buds or soldier characteristics.

An aggregation of males at a site, as in Pogomomyrmex harvester ants, in which mating takes place year after year or at least repeatedly within the same year, and where males compete for access to females.
1. The relation in which colonies of a small species nest in the walls of the nests of a larger species and enter the chambers of the larger species to prey on the brood or to rob the food stores.
2. Cleptobiosis characterized by furtive thievery or an association whereby one species regularly forages upon (steals) the food stores of another species but otherwise does not associate with it.
In species with two sizes of males, the larger of the two forms; in contrast with micraner.
In species with two sizes of queens, the larger of the two forms in contrast with microgyne.
major worker
A member of the subcaste of the largest workers; especially, in ants.

With ants, the subcaste is usually specialized for defense; so, that an adult belonging to it is often also referred to as a "soldier".

male aggregation syndrome
The mating pattern in which males from different nests gather in a group and queens join them to be inseminated.
mass communication
The transfer of information among groups of individuals of a kind that cannot be transmitted from a single individual to another.

Examples include the spatial organization of army-ant raids, the regulation of numbers of worker ants on odor trails, and certain aspects of the thermoregulation of nests.

The second pair of jaws, usually kept folded beneath the principal pair of jaws, or mandibles.
maxillary palps
The pair of jointed appendages originating from the maxillae.
media worker
In polymorphic ant series involving three or more worker subcastes, an individual belonging to the medium-sized subcaste or subcastes.
mesosoma, alitrunk
The middle of the three major divisions of the insect body.

In most insects, it is the strict equivalent of the thorax; but in the higher hymenoptera, it includes the propodeum (first abdominal segment of hymenopterans, fused to the thorax).

A change in the form and often habits of an ant as it develops with distinct larval, pupal, and adult stages.
metapleural gland
A gland peculiar to the ants (Formicidae) found at the posteroventral, or metathorax, angle of the metapleuron; it produces antibiotic substances.

The metathorax is the posterior of the three segments in the thorax (area between the head and the abdomen) of an insect, and bears the third pair of legs.

Its principal sclerites (exoskeletal plates) are the metanotum (dorsal), the metasternum (ventral or lower surface of an animal's body), and the metapleuron (lateral) on each side.

The hindmost of the three principal divisions of the insect body.

In most insect groups, it is the strict equivalent of the abdomen.

In the higher hymenoptera, it is composed only of some of the abdominal segments, since the first segment (the propodeum) is fused with the thorax and has therefore become part of the mesosoma (middle of the three major divisions of the insect body).

Here are two additional word units that deal directly with "ants": formic- and myrmeco-.

Index of additional Scientific and Technological Topics.

Bibliography of Entomology or Insect Terms (The Ants).